The Killers Release New Album The Killers Release New Album
Article Views: 1,810 The Killers Release New Album

'Wonderful, Wonderful' Fans Rock N' Roll Embers

The Killers released their fifth studio album, ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ today – an album that seems to pay homage to glam rock and is deeply rooted in the influences of David Bowie. Brandon Flowers has never been a guarded song writer but there seems to be a genuineness and transparency with this album unlike anything we’ve heard in previous releases. From the opening track, ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ to the closing cut ‘Have All The Tracks Been Written?’ we bare witness to an open invitation

from a world weary songsmith and showman, perhaps constructed to help educate us about life and loneliness at the top and the pressure to produce one successful record after another.  This is the band’s first release since 2012’s ‘Battle Born’ and may very well be as important as ‘Sams Town’ – with every track drenched in intent it does not have filler tracks or empty words. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ is a real album from a band that still, quite clearly, has something to say.

Wonderful Wonderful

‘Wonderful Wonderful’ is the first track from the latest album. It was released on August 24, 2017 as the first promotional single and, in an interview with NME, Brandon Flowers stated that the idea for the title of the song and album came when he was in the desert and saw a storm coming his way: “I thought ‘wonderful, wonderful’ and I was able to use it in a song that I wrote with Mark, our bass player, and it ended being an important part of the record.” The track is a minor key composition and is definitely the most experimental track on the album.  The mournful horns and robotic electronic accents outline some new territory for The Killers.

 

The Killers

Brandon Flowers – lead vocals, keyboards

Mark Stoermer – bass

Ronnie Vannucci – drums, percussion

Additional personnel

Matt Bishop – recording engineering

Martin Cooke – mixing assistance

Rich Costey – mixing

Nicolas Fournier – mixing assistance

Malcolm Harrison – assistant recording engineering

Jacknife Lee – guitar, keyboards, production, programming, recording engineering

Robert Root – recording engineering

The Man

Starting on May 6 the band tweeted a series of photographs and short videos to tease their fans with the album’s lead single. Among those tweets was a photograph of Brandon Flowers wearing a silver jacket with gold lettering spelling out ‘The Man, which turned out to be the title of the song. On June 14, 2017, it was finally released as the first single from the album. BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac debuted the track as ‘Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World’. The music video for ‘The Man’ was released on June 28, 2017 and features a cameo by former Mayor of Las Vegas and the town’s current First Gentleman, Oscar Goodman.

The Killers

Brandon Flowers – lead vocals, keyboards

Mark Stoermer – bass, guitar

Ronnie Vannucci – drums, percussion

Additional personnel

Erol Alkan – additional production, drum programming, keyboards, percussions, synthesizer

Matt Bishop – recording engineering

Joel Davies – assistant mixing

Justin Diaz – additional vocals

Nina Fechner – additional vocals

Dan Grech-Marguerat – mixing, programming

Malcolm Harrison – assistant recording engineering

Charles Haydon Hicks – mixing assistance

Jacknife Lee – guitar, keyboards, production, programming, recording engineering

Becca Marie – additional vocals

Robert Root – recording engineering

Rut

Rut sounds like there was a collaboration with Daft Punk with the intro and outro – sounding like something from the album, ‘Discovery’.  As the song progresses we get a front seat view of the writers block that Flowers endured whilst creating this record.  With the struggle of creation and the sheer torture of pumping out another hit album being so publicly displayed, there is also a deep seated ode to those who’ve made Rock n’ Roll great.  Flowers writes, “I’ll Climb and I’ll Climb” , referencing the invisible ceiling and the trials of trying to break through it. As the song reaches its climax you can feel the heart wrenching outpourings of the band struggling to outrun the rut they are in.

 

“Can’t keep my mind off of every little wrong
I see the mouths are open but I can’t hear the song
I’ve done my best to fill ’em, but the cracks are starting to spread
Hey, I won’t blame you baby, go on, turn your head

But don’t give up on me, ’cause I’m just in a rut
I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up.”

 

 

Life to Come

Next up is what turned out to be the playlist’s second single. Originally released on June 16, ‘Creature Comfort’ is definitely the standout track on this album and my personal favorite. The ostinato synth has a deep swagger, akin to The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ whilst the bass guitar riff sounds heavily influenced by Peter Hook from New Order. The main riff is bolstered by the upper register of the bass giving room for that weighty synth to move freely without muddying up the mix. Once again, a simplistic jam which maximizes a three chord trick until the bridge when we get the relative minor. Overall a bright, fun, dance-centric helping of electro pop.

Run for Cover

‘Run for Cover’ was released on July 28, 2017, as the album’s second single. The track was originally written for their 2008 album ‘Day & Age, but it remained incomplete, collecting dust for almost a decade due to Flowers being unable to finish the second verse.  The song contains references to Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’. Lyrically, the song talks about domestic violence as Flowers tells a woman to “run for cover” from her abusive husband while she still can. The track dunks us back into the up-tempo synth pop we know and, perhaps unfairly, expect from The Killers.  Itwas finally finished after meeting with Australian musician Alex Cameron in Las Vegas where Flowers finally had a breakthrough as they worked on the song together until the legendary verse 2 was finished. “Run for Cover” was played for the first time during a concert held by The Killers at Borgata, Atlantic City on June 6, 2017.

 

The Killers

Brandon Flowers – lead vocals, keyboards

Mark Stoermer – bass

Ronnie Vannucci – drums, percussion

Additional personnel

Matt Bishop – recording engineering

Shawn Everett – mixing

Malcolm Harrison – assistant recording engineering

Jacknife Lee – guitar, keyboards, production, programming, recording engineering

Ariel Rechtshaid – mixing

Robert Root – recording engineering

Tyson vs. Douglas

Tyson vs. Douglas is a creative track that references one of the biggest upsets in sports history. The one where Mike Tyson lost via KO to the 42-1 underdog Buster Douglas.  The track begins with the audio of this event and, as the words “Mike Tyson has been knocked out” reach your ears the drum heavy beat begins with Flowers’ vocals entering the picture. “Looking out the window out on the street. I don’t know what happened, I’m out on my feet”.  It seems that Flowers himself is wrestling with the idea of a fallen icon’s past (and possibly present). The track is soaked in the bitterness of defeat and again invites us to examine the very real fear of a celebrated star creating a losing album.

Some Kind of Love

‘Some Kind of Love’ was released on September 15, 2017 and is the album’s second promotional single.  This seems to be a somewhat personal track for Brandon Flowers as it was written for his wife Tana who suffers from PTSD.  The song, from start to finish has an Angelically pure tone and was initially penned to lift her spirits and, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Flowers explained, “I’d never done anything like that before, where we’d sit down and play the songs for her, and explain it, and see if it made sense to her, and got her approval”.

The Killers

Brandon Flowers – lead vocals, keyboards

Mark Stoermer – bass

Ronnie Vannucci – drums, percussion

Additional personnel

Matt Bishop – recording engineering

Malcolm Harrison – assistant recording engineering

Jacknife Lee – guitar, keyboards, production, programming, recording engineering, mixing

Robert Root – recording engineering

Out of My Mind

‘Out of my Mind’ is a synth-heavy, 80’s esque ballad.  It feels like a conglomeration of all the band’s influences packed into one, perfect track. The multiple synth layers compliment Flowers sweet, vocal melodies. Flowers references a big moment in his career (circa 2009) when he was invited on stage to perform with one of his music idols, Bruce Springsteen.  They exchanged verses on Springsteen’s classic, ‘Thunder Road’. This was a pivotal moment for Flowers’ career and one during which he felt compelled to name drop. It feels as though Flowers is in need of vindication from his idols whilst his wife, perhaps sees the folly in such a fruitless desire.

“Storm the gates of Graceland
To make you realize
Went back-to-back with Springsteen
You turned and rolled your eyes
So I told you about McCartney
That’s a heavy name to drop
You say you don’t need confirmation
But I don’t know if I can stop”

The Calling

‘The Calling’ begins with a reference to the Biblical Gospel of Matthew where Jesus is questioned about eating dinner with those who are considered beneath him. Jesus is quoted as saying that he “came for the sick and not the healthy”. As the guitar wails like something out of a spaghetti western, Flowers laments over the inner war of faith, all the while creating a track that appears to pay tribute to Depeche Mode.

“I walked into town with a message for my old man
I got the last two chapters of Matthew in my hand
Steve painting houses while Bobby went and gone insane
They buried my sister but daddy, he stayed the same”

Have All the Songs Been Written?

The track “Have Every Song Been Written?” is a reference to a period were Brandon Flowers was at the zenith of his writer’s block and decided to reach out, via email, to his musical confidant, Bono.  The subject line of that email read, “Have all the songs been written?”.  Flowers stated, “I think we all ask ourselves that at some point, you just have to sit down and give it a shot. There has been so much greatness, so much ground has been covered. Bono could tell from my email I was struggling. He said ‘That’s a hell of a title, why don’t you start there?’ The slow tempo track begins with a sustained chord while the vocal demands your attention with an anguished question that has no real answer.

“Have all the songs been written?
Have all the truth been told?
Has all the gas been siphon?
Do the plains still carry gold?
Has every ship gone sailing?
Has every heart gone blue?”

ALBUM SUMMARY

The album as a whole is important, as it both asks and answers the question, “Have All The Songs Been Written?”  The answer is of course no. Both Flowers and the band have successfully created a work that pulls from the fear of defeat and out of this fear has inspired a beautiful piece of art. What once felt, to the artists, like a band on its last creative leg, now heralds something far more uplifting. The self-imposed ceiling has been broken through and thus the final count cannot yet begin.

Track Listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. “Wonderful Wonderful”
  • Brandon Flowers
  • Mark Stoermer
  • Ronnie Vannucci Jr.
  • Lee
5:09
2. “The Man”
  • Flowers
  • Dave Keuning
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Lee
  • Robert Kool Bell
  • Ronald Bell
  • George Brown
  • Otha Nash
  • Claydes Smith
  • Richard Westfield
  • Robert Mickens
  • Donald Boyce
  • Dennis Thomas
  • Lee
  • Erol Alkan[a]
4:10
3. “Rut”
  • Flowers
  • Keuning
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Lee
4:24
4. “Life to Come”
  • Flowers
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Lee
  • Alex Cameron
  • Ryan Tedder
4:31
5. “Run for Cover”
  • Flowers
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Lee
  • Cameron
  • Stuart Price
  • Bob Marley
3:42
6. “Tyson vs. Douglas”
  • Flowers
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Cameron
4:33
7. “Some Kind of Love”
  • Flowers
  • Lee
  • Brian Eno
4:38
8. “Out of My Mind”
  • Flowers
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Cameron
  • Price
  • Lee
  • Price[a]
3:43
9. “The Calling”
  • Flowers
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Cameron
4:01
10. “Have All the Songs Been Written?”
  • Flowers
  • Stoermer
  • Vannucci
  • Lee
4:09
Total length: 43:00

Tour Dates

The Killers ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ tour.

Here are the dates:

North American Promotional Dates- Leg 5

  • September 19, 2017: Brooklyn Steel- New York City, NY
  • September 22, 2017: Terminal 5- New York City, NY
  • September 23, 2017: Global Citizen Festival- New York City, NY
  • September 29, 2017: Secret Show- Melbourne, Australia*
  • September 30, 2017: AFL Grand Final- Australia*
  • October 8, 2017: Austin City Limits Music Festival- Austin, TX
  • October 15, 2017: Austin City Limits Music Festival- Austin, TX
  • October 21, 2017: Lost Lake Festival- Phoenix, AZ
  • October 27- 29, 2017: Voodoo Experience- New Orleans, LA

‘Wonderful Wonderful’ World Tour- Leg 1, United Kingdom and Ireland

  • November 6, 2017: Genting Arena- Birmingham, England, UK*
  • November 7, 2017: Genting Arena- Birmingham, England, UK*
  • November 10, 2017: Metro Radio Arena- Newcastle, England, UK*
  • November 13, 2017: Manchester Arena- Manchester, England, UK*
  • November 14, 2017: Manchester Arena- Manchester, England, UK*
  • November 16, 2017: 3 Arena- Dublin, Ireland^
  • November 17, 2017: SSE Arena- Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK^
  • November 19, 2017: First Direct Arena- Leeds, England, UK^
  • November 20, 2017: SSE Hydro- Glasgow, Scotland, UK^
  • November 21, 2017: Aberdeen GE Arena- Aberdeen, Scotland, UK^
  • November 23, 2017: Motorpoint Arena- Nottingham, England, UK^
  • November 25, 2017: Sheffield Arena- Sheffield, England, UK^
  • November 27, 2017: The O2 Arena- London, England, UK^
  • November 28, 2017: The O2 Arena- London, England, UK^
  • December 11, 2017: Pearl Concert Theatre- Las Vegas, NV

‘Wonderful Wonderful’ World Tour- Leg 2, North America

  • January 5, 2018: Air Canada Centre- Toronto, Canada
  • January 6, 2018: Place Bell- Laval, Canada
  • January 7, 2018: TD Garden- Boston, MA
  • January 9, 2018: Barclays Center- Brooklyn, NY
  • January 10, 2018: The Anthem- Washington, DC
  • January 12, 2018: Madison Square Garden- New York City, NY
  • January 13, 2018: Wells Fargo Center- Philadelphia, PA
  • January 15, 2018: Masonic Temple Theatre- Detroit, MI
  • January 16, 2018: United Center- Chicago, IL
  • January 17, 2018: Xcel Energy Center- Saint Paul, MN
  • January 21, 2018: Infinite Energy Center- Duluth, GA
  • January 23, 2018: American Airlines Arena- Miami, FL
  • January 24, 2018: Hard Rock Live- Orlando, FL
  • January 30, 2018: Valley View Casino Center- San Diego, CA
  • February 1, 2018: Staples Center- Los Angeles, CA
  • February 2, 2018: Staples Center- Los Angeles, CA
  • February 3, 2018: MGM Grand Garden Arena- Las Vegas, NV
  • February 5, 2018: 1st Bank Center- Broomfield, CO
  • February 6, 2018: Vivint Smart Home Arena- Salt Lake City, UT

‘Wonderful Wonderful’ World Tour- Leg 3, Europe

  • February 19, 2018: Hartwall Arena- Helsinki, Finland
  • February 23, 2018: Telenor Arena- Oslo, Norway
  • February 24, 2018: Ericsson Globe- Stockhom, Sweden
  • February 25, 2018: Royal Arena- Copenhagen, Denmark
  • February 27, 2018: Mercedes-Benz Arena- Berlin, Germany
  • February 28, 2018: Ziggo Dome- Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • March 1, 2018: Rockhal- Esch Alzette, Luxembourg
  • March 3, 2018: Zenith- Paris, France
  • March 5, 2018: Lanxess Arena- Cologne, Germany
  • March 6, 2018: Sportpaleis- Antwerp, Belgium

‘Wonderful Wonderful’ World Tour- Leg 4, Mexico

  • April 2, 2018: Arena Monterrey- Monterrey, Mexico
  • April 5, 2018: Foro Sol- Mexico City, Mexico

‘Wonderful Wonderful’ World Tour- Leg 5, New Zealand/ Australia

  • April 20, 2018: Spark Arena- Auckland, New Zealand
  • April 21, 2018: TSB Bank Arena- Wellington, New Zealand
  • April 24, 2018: Horncastle Arena- Christchurch, New Zealand
  • April 27, 2018: Entertainment Centre- Brisbane, Australia
  • April 28, 2018: Qudos Bank Arena- Sydney, Australia
  • May 1, 2018: Perth Arena- Perth, Australia
  • May 4, 2018: Hisense Arena- Melbourne, Australia

Michael Erron Executive & Features Editor

Michael Erron is a studio and touring musician and for over a decade has been banging on drums all over the map. Originally from the Los Angeles area he now resides in Las Vegas working as a session musician. In his downtime Michael is also a Computer Engineer, working with Virtualization and Network Infrastructures.

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