Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Give my regards to soul and romance

Day & Age, the new album by The Killers, shines with a tongue-in-cheek sense of fun and odd experimentation.  Brandon Flowers has commented that his favorite part of the new album is the comeback of the saxophone as a pop-rock staple, and indeed this quirky little element stands out on several tracks.

I fell in love with first single "Human" immediately, with its driving beat and odd syntax, so I began looking forward to the album.  The Killers are strange phenomenon, I think.  I cannot really explain that statement with any evidence or clarity; I just feel that way.  But I also really like their music, which is kitschy, clever and diverse, drawing on all kinds of influences.  As I said, I just like it.

In addition to "Human," which is my favorite track on Day & Age, other highlights of the album include the following:

  • "Spaceman" -- This song is fantastic.  Tall about silliness and great music colliding.  This is one of the best songs about alien abduction in recent memory.  The "oh oh oh" and the chorus really make this song fun, and the synth line just nudges it up even more.
  • "Dustland Fairytale" starts off slowly and builds into a great up-tempo number, and I really like the lyrics: "I saw the devil wrapping up his hands; he's getting ready for the showdown."  In addition, I am drawn to the way Brandon sings the line "She says she always knew he'd come around"--this line is one of those small snippets of music that you just immediately like for some reason.
  • "This Is Your Life" brings in some African vocal stylings, which combine with a cool little bass line to create a sweet foundation.
  • And speaking of world music, "I Can't Stay" turns up the samba and Caribbean steel drum for a very Talking Heads-like experience.  The result is a fun pop song, made even better by the saxophone solo.  Seriously.
  • Oh, and did I mention saxophones?  You have got to hear "Joyride."  This is 3 minutes and 34 seconds of synthesizer, bass, and saxophone silliness, and I mean this in a very good way.  Sometimes The Killers take themselves way too seriously, but that attitude goes out the window with this song, which has an element of fun that Brandon seems to have embraced.

Day & Age has been playing on my iPod a lot lately.  It puts me in a great mood, and what other recommendation does an album need?


At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous posited...

Totally agree! I love the playfulness of Day & Age. I think it's their most musically interesting album yet.


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