The Killers peaked with its debut album, and some may never move past that. 2004’s Hot Fuss — enveloping classics like “All These Things That I’ve Done” and “Mr. Brightside,” the latter of which you can never go to a party without hearing — will forever be remembered as one of the finest of the 2000s. Though there have been a few bumps in the road ever since, the latest, Imploding The Mirage, shows The Killers still has that flair for making irreplaceable gems.
Frontman Brandon Flowers told The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday he and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. are the only remaining full-time members of The Killers. Guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoerner have not officially called it quits, and Flowers is not pressuring them into giving him a definite answer as to what their future with the band entails. This album, however, proves The Killers will be just fine regardless of what happens.
Imploding The Mirage is a nod to the classic rock genre, preserving the anthemic spirit of Bruce Springsteen while telling stories that galvanize the mind and soul. “When The Dreams Run Dry” keeps the feel-good, groovy vibes of the ’80s alive, and its sweet theme of never letting those you love go even when all hope seems lost is everything. “Running Towards A Place” is simply a good tune for when you’re in a good mood. The only off-putting track is the bass-heavy single “Fire In Bone,” with its messy sonic delivery and Flowers’ less-than-perfect vocals. The Killers has rightfully earned its spot on rock bands that should be remembered for decades to come — since there is, rightfully, no one else quite like it.
Here are the best three tracks from Imploding The Mirage:
3. “Lightning Fields (feat. k.d. lang)”
Flowers uses “Lightning Fields'' to divulge the pure love of his own parents, as he revealed to Forbes. In the perspective of his father, he reminisces on his time with his wife, Jean, who lost her battle with cancer in 2010. He sings about wishing he could’ve said and done more before it was too late. Behind cheerful keys and an uplifting guitar, k.d. lang as Jean, comes in to tell her husband he always did more than enough: “Don’t beat yourself up; you laid good ground … / There’s no end to love / There’s no end to truth / There’s no end to me / There’s no end to you.” You can feel the love Flowers’ parents had for each other in your soul through “Lightning Fields.”
2. “My Own Soul’s Warning”
This is how you start an album: the enlivening synths, that infectious bass, Flowers’ robust vocals, basically everything about it. “My Own Soul’s Warning” distills to its essence the feeling of knowing you screwed up despite initially being so confident in your decision. You may have thought you were doing what was best, but in the end, your own destiny will find you: “I tried going against my own soul’s warning / And in the end, something just didn’t feel right / Oh, I tried diving, even though the sky was storming / I just wanted to get back to where you are.”
Finally, a radio hit that rightfully earned its spot. Hailing from Las Vegas, The Killers is tired of its hometown. Flowers isn’t worried about leaving the familiarity — he simply yearns to find some new adventure elsewhere: “I’m throwin’ caution; what’s it gonna be? / Tonight, the winds of change are comin’ over me / If I don’t get out of this town, I just might be the one who finally burns it down.” Don’t lie and say Flowers’ vocal delivery as well as the lengthy guitar solo from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsay Buckingham aren’t irreproachable. “Caution” is the feel-good track of the summer, and it’s the best on Imploding The Mirage.