Battle Born

Battle Born

4.0 4
by The Killers
     
 

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The great open secret about the Killers is that they only make sense when they operate on a grand scale. Everything they do is outsized; their anthems are created for fathomless stadiums, a character quirk they've grown into over the years as they've gone from scrappy wannabes fighting their way out of Las Vegas to the international

Overview

The great open secret about the Killers is that they only make sense when they operate on a grand scale. Everything they do is outsized; their anthems are created for fathomless stadiums, a character quirk they've grown into over the years as they've gone from scrappy wannabes fighting their way out of Las Vegas to the international superstars they've longed to be. Nearly ten years after Hot Fuss -- a decade that flashed by like a falling rocket -- the Killers aren't quite the new U2 or the Cure, to name two of their inescapable role models, but they're not Echo & the Bunnymen, either, doomed to be playing for an ever-selective audience. They are new millennium superstars, filling stadiums and flying under the radar, maintaining a popularity that justifies -- even demands -- albums as overblown as Battle Born, their fourth full-length and first to bear the stamp of the utter ease of a veteran. Unlike their three previous albums, the Killers don't necessarily have anything to prove on Battle Born: they've carved out their kingdom and now they're happy to reside within it, taking their time to ensure their palaces are overwhelmingly opulent. And Battle Born is indeed a dazzling spectacle, an inversion of the blueprint handed down from 2008's Day & Age, where the band emphasizes songs over sound. Battle Born is constructed on a smaller scale -- there are no interludes, most songs are trimmed of fat, with "From Here On Out" breezing by at under 2:30 -- but the group has internalized the sprawl of Sam's Town so they retain the wide-open spirit of the desert, not to mention the band's persistent obsession with Bruce Springsteen's mini-operas of love won, lost, and gambled. In fact, the Killers are slowly stepping away from any dance-rock trappings they once displayed, all while refusing to abandon synthesizers, which leaves Battle Born as this curious fusion of the aesthetics of 1983 applied to the roots rock of 1989; not quite so futuristic as willfully out of time. All this is reconfirmation of how the Killers exist in their own world, one that's tethered to an alternate classic rock history where Born to Run is ground zero, MTV the British Invasion, and Joshua Tree Sgt Pepper's. Of course, all of this music is now far, far in the past, so it's no surprise the Killers no longer sound like kids. They're veterans at this game, a group who has been trading in these stylized, glamorized fusions for a decade, and that slightly weathered attitude is now part of the band's appeal; they're veterans that know how to use their tools, so even if the raw materials may not be quite as compelling as their earliest singles, the overall craft on Battle Born is more appealing. And if age has changed the Killers attack, it has done not a thing for Brandon Flowers as a lyricist, who remains committed to gobsmacking poetry and allusions, and cracked observations that somehow sound endearing when encased in the well-lubricated machinery of Battle Born. [An LP version was also released.]

Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2012
Label:
Island
UPC:
0602537118748
catalogNumber:
001729402
Rank:
12803

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Killers   Primary Artist
Damian Taylor   Keyboards
Stuart Price   Keyboards
Alissa Fleming   Violin
Vegas Master Singers   Background Vocals
Jennifer Eriksson   Violin

Technical Credits

Daniel Lanois   Producer
Steve Lillywhite   Producer,Additional Production
Brendan O'Brien   Producer,Engineer
Robert Reynolds   Management
Doug Joswick   Package Production
Damian Taylor   Programming,Producer,Additional Production
Stuart Price   Programming,Producer
Eric Wong   Marketing
Killers   Composer,Producer
Kirk Sommer   Booking
Matt Voss   Marketing
Robert Root   Engineer
Warren Fu   Art Direction
Kristen Yiengst   Artwork,Photo Production
Vannucci   Composer
Stoermer   Composer
Keuning   Composer
Lanois   Composer
David Grant   Marketing
Martin Gomez   Layout
Brian Sutnick   Marketing

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Battle Born 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Battle Born. It's a great album that is pretty different from what they've released in the past and I'm loving it.
DMG80 More than 1 year ago
Battle Born is not a Killers album; it is another Brandon Flowers solo album—the sequel to Flamingo, if you will. It is vast, anthemic, incredibly polished, and lacking the beloved grit and angst of quintessential Killers sound a la Sam's Town. Having six producers on the album is a bit excessive and, in my opinion, too many cooks in the kitchen. The album is almost too mature. I feel like it didn't write itself, but rather, Flowers and Co. set out to accomplish a certain plethora of sound—steroidal cognizance of the end goal sabotaging the natural songwriting progression, which, in the process, negates a crucial organicity. Therein lies the inherent difference between Battle Born and The Killers' first few albums, their last phenomenal offering to date being Sawdust, its collection of B-sides and unreleased tracks from the Hot Fuss and Sam's Town era proving far more infectious than anything on Battle Born. There comes a point in every artist's career when they become too conscious of their work and try to do too much. This is okay. It's all part of the process. While Flowers' voice sounds unequivocally grand and on point, I'm still left with the pervasive feeling that any time spent listening to Battle Born could be spent listening to an edgier, more authentic Killers, e.g., "Bling" and "Uncle Johnny." Nonetheless, I'm glad they're not trying to recreate the same formula. I'm glad they're arguably overthinking things and releasing an enjoyable work that's a fully realized triumph with respect to its intent, yet a concurrent misstep. Oftentimes a Battle Born is rendered before another masterpiece is furnished. 3.5 stars.
DMG80 More than 1 year ago
Battle Born is not a Killers album; it is another Brandon Flowers solo album—the sequel to Flamingo, if you will. It is vast, anthemic, incredibly polished, and lacking the beloved grit and angst of quintessential Killers sound a la Sam's Town. Having six producers on the album is a bit excessive and, in my opinion, too many cooks in the kitchen. The album is almost too mature. I feel like it didn't write itself, but rather, Flowers and Co. set out to accomplish a certain plethora of sound—steroidal cognizance of the end goal sabotaging the natural songwriting progression, which, in the process, negates a crucial organicity. Therein lies the inherent difference between Battle Born and The Killers' first few albums, their last phenomenal offering to date being Sawdust, its collection of B-sides and unreleased tracks from the Hot Fuss and Sam's Town era proving far more infectious than anything on Battle Born. There comes a point in every artist's career when they become too conscious of their work and try to do too much. This is okay. It's all part of the process. While Flowers' voice sounds unequivocally grand and on point, I'm still left with the pervasive feeling that any time spent listening to Battle Born could be spent listening to an edgier, more authentic Killers, e.g., "Bling" and "Uncle Johnny." Nonetheless, I'm glad they're not trying to recreate the same formula. I'm glad they're arguably overthinking things and releasing an enjoyable work that's a fully realized triumph with respect to its intent, yet a concurrent misstep. Oftentimes a Battle Born is rendered before another masterpiece is furnished. 3.5 stars.