“Battle Born” – The Killers

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Honestly, I feel a little bad for The Killers. They put out their best album by far, Hot Fuss, as their debut album, and they’ve been unable to put out anything that even comes close since then. Battle Born is an okay album, but still not their best work.

“Flesh And Bone” is a pretty good opening song, although Brandon Flowers sounds a lot like Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem. At first, I thought this was just a coincidence, but this comparison follows through for the entirety of the album. “Runaways” is the first single off Battle Born, and it actually got some airplay way back in July. The marching-style drums are pretty cool, and this song definitely has an 80s vibe to it. The next tune, “The Way It Was,” is 80s-sounding right off the bat, so it seems we have another theme for this album. And again, Flowers sounds a lot like Bruce Springsteen on this track (and therefore, sounds like Fallon as well). “Here With Me” is the first slow song off the album, and I don’t think it fits in very well this early in the track listing. “A Matter Of Time,” “Deadlines And Commitments,” and “Miss Atomic Bomb” aren’t anything special, just more of the same. Track 8, “Rising Tide,” already starts off with a better pace than most of the songs off the album. A guitar solo is nice to hear for a change, and the effect Dave Keuning uses is pretty unique. “From Here On Out” has some country roots (where did that come from?), and it’s short and to the point at 2 minutes and 28 seconds, which is another nice change of pace. “Be Still,” the next track, is pretty heavy on R&B, and by this point, The Killers are pretty much all over the place. The album closes with the title track, “Battle Born,” the longest song on the album. It’s got a great few opening bars and another guitar solo, and it’s a good song to end the album with.

Battle Born, though it has a few good tracks, is like every Killers album that has come out since Hot Fuss.  In other words, it’s just okay. Upon reaching the end of the album, I have come to the conclusion that Brandon Flowers is blatantly ripping off The Gaslight Anthem and Springsteen. In that respect, if you like Gaslight and/or Springsteen, maybe check this album out. If not, just keep listening to Hot Fuss.

-Joe MacPhee

Recommended Jams: Runaways, The Rising Tide, From Here On Out

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