Review: ‘Battle Born’ is silly, but good

Michael Bragg

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

The newest Killers album, “Battle Born,” is practically overflowing with cheese, one of those albums where the strength does not necessarily lie in the originality of the lyrics, but more of in the way that it makes you feel.

The opening song, “Flesh and Bone,” is only just OK. The amount of electronica and synthetic noise in the background is too distracting from vocalist Brandon Flowers’ voice. It’s a little incongruous with the rest of the album, which does have elements of synthesizers and such, but doesn’t use them to anywhere near this extent.

The album really kicks off with the song “Runaways.” This song just feels huge, from the slowly building guitar, to Flowers’ sweeping high-pitched voice, which he knows exactly when to raise to a crescendo for the optimal amount of grandiosity. It’s one of those songs that makes the hairs on the back of your neck prick up when you listen to it, the kind of thing that really can only be described as epic.

There are a lot of songs like that on this album. The thing about them is, none of them are particularly groundbreaking, at least lyrically speaking. Brandon Flowers is a hot dog, and his lyrics are often as clichéd as they come.

An example of where this is bothersome is “Here With Me.”

“I don’t want your picture, On my cell phone,” is bothersome. The lyrics themselves are just extremely boring when placed next to the other songs on the albums. Not that the other lyrics on the album are really any better, they’re just more interesting.

The best songs on the album are the ones that exemplify the grandeur and silliness earlier mentioned, which are mainly “Runaways,” “Miss Atomic Bomb,” “The Rising Tide” and the closing, titular track, “Battle Born.”

This is one of those albums where it pays to get the extended edition. The two extra songs “Carry Me Home” and “Prize Fighter” bring more of that adventure and energy to the table.

All in all, that’s what “Battle Born” is about. It’s not groundbreaking, by any means. There’s not much lyrical originality, not a lot of pushing boundaries or really anything here other than just sweeping ballads that are basically engineered to be huge and epic. Sometimes they try too hard to accomplish this, and there’s enough cheese on this album to put the entire state of Wisconsin out of business.

Maybe I’m just a die hard Killers fan. Sue me.

“Battle Born” is now available for download and purchase.

Rating: Three out of four stars

Story: R. SCOTT MORRIS, Intern A&E Reporter