“Don’t want your picture here on your cell phone, I want you here with me,” Brandon Flowers sings on ‘Here With Me’, the fourth track in Battle Born. There’s a range of emotions on this album but what predominantly flows through is a message of resilience and persistence through good times and bad.
It’s a good thing they start upbeat early on, with their first single ‘Runaways’ conveying all those influences from the 1980s, including the arena rock-inspired tunes of U2. In reality, not much has changed about The Killers’ approach to music, apart from the overbearing disco/dance rock, previously criticised in Day & Age. The lyrics are quirky but heartfelt (“This natural selection picked me out to be a dark horse running in a fantasy” on ‘Flesh and Bone’) and the soundscapes creeping into the background (and sometimes foreground) range from the short and jumpy to the slow and meditative.
The more guitar-led songs such as ‘Heart of a Girl’ and ‘From Here on Out’ are soggy and upbeat respectively, but the glass slide by guitarist Dave Keuning keeps them on the rock side of things with a Bruce Springsteen feel. ‘Deadlines and Commitments’ has a slow-dance pop setting with enough synth, bass and drums and Flowers crooning away about work-world contracts, offers and strategies. The title track that closes the album brings an operatic swell, as Flowers’ sings about hope. The Killers aren’t doing anything too special with Battle Born, but they are reviving a great era of rock, adding their own elements along the way.
Bottomline: Not much has changed about The Killers’ approach to music
Battle Born; The Killers, Universal Music, Rs. 395