The fabulous Las Vegas band is back, Brandon Flowers and the gang bring once more a great album completly distancing themselves from the critically aclaimed “Day & Age” that was released in 2008 and brought some major hits like “Human”, “Spaceman” and “The World we live in”. But when you listen to this album you’ll notice a major difference between them: “Battle Born” is a more rock oriented album reminding us of “Sam’s town” the 2005 album that by that time also changed completelly the genre of music they had previously worked with and was very much criticezed.
It’s like history repeating itself but this time we meet “Battle Born” as a very strong album and we can say that there’s a bit of a consensus between reviewers of the album noting that this one is a good album.
Apart from all those reviews it would be best to say that we meet a very mature band with an album full of rock influences, from Bruce Springsteen to U2.
Now off with this review.
Genre- Rock/ Indie Rock
1- Flesh and Bone
This song starts with a very electronic tone hinting us a bit of Hot Fuss. The haunting vocals and synths give Brandon the best entrance ever to the chorus. Great riffs and drumming with flawless vocals marks a position on the opening song of the album, I’d say that this song is a very strong one, probably a good choice for a second single. Simple rock-ish song with all the ingredients a good rock fan would look for, this is not the rock music bands are doing these days, this reminds us of the good old late 70’s, early 80’s rock. This is a good reminder that this band is one of the most polivalent around in the business. 5/5
Here is the first single the band has decided to show us. Good opening with once again flawless vocals from what I consider to be one of the best frontmen of all time. Good riffs reminding us of Bruce Springsteen and mezmerizing drumming by Ronnie Vanucci. The chorus might remind some of us of some Meatloaf songs (not in a bad way) showing us once again those 80’s influences the band keeps showing on their albums. Good lyrics though. 5/5
3- The Way it was
Amazing intro, the instruments blend so well leading to the powerful vocals and classic drums of the first verse, calm and sweet lyrics towards a good chorus, an overall good song where everything sound pretty amazingly arranged. This song has surprised me and has grown on me, I’d probably say that this one, apart form “Flesh and Bone”, is one of the highlights of the album. 5/5
4- Here with me
Piano, vocals and synths – there is the combination to make a slow, calm and mezmering song work. Brandon nails this song so well. Apart from the great beginning drums explode leading for the entrance of the guitar and bass making a fantastic instrumental around the beautiful voice and heartfelt lyrics on this song. Maybe this is one of the slowest songs on the album but nevertheless the quality of it doesn’t diminish, on the other hand, this one is a strong candidate of best song on the album. 5/5
5- A matter of time
For someone first listening to this song the first impression will be “Is this one from Sam’s Town ?” – Yeah it sounds like it also once again like on that amazing album we see Bruce Springsteen influences here on the guitars. Good use of backing vocals without beeing annoying throughout the song. This song screams “80’s rock” from the very first guitar riff. Good but not the best on the album. 4/5
6- Deadlines and Commitments
Relaxing song almost reminding me of Brian Ferry’s solo work mixed with a bit of Alphaville’s “Big in Japan”. Amazing synths and drumming embrance the strong vocals leading to a very interesting chorus, an overall good song in my opinion one of the strongest songs on the album. 5/5
7- Miss Atomic Bomb
Alphaville’s “Big in Japan” keeps showing up on my mind as I’m listening to this song as well as in the last just because of that electronic like feel in the intro. After the intro we find an explosion of sounds leading up to very intricate drum section guided by a classic rock guitar feel. Props to Ronnie Vanucci for the amazing work behind those drums and to Brandon Flowers for the amazing vocals that never fail to amaze us. Not my favorite song but it’s a good one. 4/5
8- The Rising Tide
One of the most electronic oriented songs on the album almost winking their eye to “Hot Fuss” but quickly we notice it was only a wink once the guitar and the energetic drums make an appearance. I don’t know why but this song just doesn’t click with me, maybe is the background synth or something else. 3/5
9- Heart of a Girl
Very country-like song, interesting instrumental, great guitar and bass, the vocals once again never fail but besides all that this song – one of the calmest ones on it – fails to impress (at least it fails to impress me). 2/5
10- From Here On Out
One of the most uptempo songs on the album, good instrumental, once again Bruce springsteen influences all over the place. I love the guitar on this song; it feels so, so good, besides that it fails to impress as whole. 3/5
11- Be Still
Haunting vocals, beautiful lyrics and strong beginning of the song. Synth, strings, piano – all blended with Brandon’s vocals just make it one of the best songs on the album. Amazing song but don’t expect for strong guitars or drums, this is the beautifulness of this song – doesn’t need a big fuss around it, it just works fine without it. 5/5
12- Battle Born
The best song on the album is the one that gives name to it. It has “Sam’s town” written all over it. Great intro with synths reminding us of “Read my mind”. Strong chorus, great lyrics and instrumental, I guess this song is the strongest of ‘em all and I can say that in some parts it reminds me of some of Queen’s work. Have I talked about the guitar in the outro? God it is amazing. Props to the whole band because this song is the best one – it rocks like it should and nothing fails on this one. 5/5
Overall the album is 4/5. Good comeback from the band but not quite close to the “Day & Age” success – of course because the genre is completelly different but we shouldn’t forget that compared with “Sam’s town” I think this album is a bit inferior to it – but not necessarily a bad album.
I enjoyed it a lot and I would recommend to anyone.
On a first listen this album seems pretty weak but on the second and third listens it just keeps growing and growing on you, almost like “Sam’s town”. For the most skeptical fans that hate when bands change their genres/don’t stick with the genre of their most “known” or best selling album: bands change and The Killers have shown us once again that they don’t pretend to stick to one genre and also remind us that their roots are well around the rock universe so expect more from them on that genre instead of the alternative rock/dance genres we got with “Day & Age”.
More reviews on the following weeks of:
Linkin Park “Living things”
Papa Roach “The Connection”