Look out, world, The Killers is coming out of its cage, and the guys are doing just fine.
However, its new album Wonderful, Wonderful, starts off anything but.
The opening title track is the sort of song that can be classified as “hard to get into”, as frontman Brandon Flowers channels activist-mode Bono on lyrics like, “Motherless child does thou believe/That thine afflictions have caused us to grieve?”.
It looks on the bleak side of things so much that you sort of wish Mr Brightside would come and slap some sense into Flowers.
With such a difficult opening salvo, it’s almost a surprise when the shimmering The Man kicks in, with its shiny disco/funk beats, its David Bowie-esque glam rock vibes, and Flowers strutting out lines like, “Don’t need no advice/I got a plan” and “I got news for you baby/you’re looking at the man”.
Flowers imbues the song with a macho, over-confident swagger that makes it one of the albums standout tracks for me.
Elsewhere, the rousing Run For Cover sounds like something the Foo Fighters could have written, while Tyson Vs Douglas is arguably the closest the album comes to a Mr Brightside moment. Although to be honest, the lyrics, which recall Buster Douglas’s legendary upset win over Mike Tyson in 1990, offer little in the way of a bright side.
It’s in moments like these that Wonderful, Wonderful really lives up to its title. Unfortunately, they are brought down by the likes of lumbering slow numbers Some Kind Of Love and album closer Have All The Songs Been Written, and the forgettable Life To Come and The Calling.
“Don’t give up on me/I’m just in a rut”, Flowers sings on Rut. Five studio albums in, The Killers does seem to be stuck in a little bit of a rut. But there are enough creatively original ideas here that suggest that the band is more than capable of climbing out of it.