The Killers: Day & Age

B-

The Killers

Album: Day & Age
Label: Island
B-

The Killers

Album: Day & Age
Label: Island

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When it comes to how people feel about The Killers, it's hard to find anyone on the fence, and barring a major shift in sound, it's unlikely that the Vegas outfit will ever do anything to change that. After courting as many lovers as haters with the neo-new-wave masterpiece Hot Fuss, The Killers lost a bunch of the former with Sam's Town, an overly serious, ambitious record without the skills and vision to make good on Brandon Flowers' promise to deliver the best album since the mid-'80s. (And, in simpler terms, it didn't have a "Mr. Brightside," though "When You Were Young" came pretty close.) Two years later, The Killers have returned more ambitious than ever with Day & Age, but this time around, Flowers set the buzz bar a little lower, stating that it's the band's most playful record. And he's right, from the Pet Shop Boys-meet-The Postal Service first single, "Human," to the sax floating around inside the jangly funk number "Joy Ride" to the world-beat chanting of "This Is Your Life." Depending on which side of that fence you're sitting on, it's either processed American cheese or the crème de la crème of big throwback pop, to the point where traces of Bon Jovi and Hall & Oates (alongside the more obvious '80s touchstones) can be heard in songs overflowing with the kind of hooks that keep bands famous. The Killers have once again worked with a different producer—Stuart Price, who was responsible for that excellent Grammy-nominated "Brightside" remix—and in turn, they don't seem bogged down with maintaining a sonic image that seemed so carefully crafted a few years ago.

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