Friday, December 1, 2023
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The Killers – Imploding the Mirage Review

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone whose favourite band is The Killers. Considering how prolific their career has been, and how often you’re going to hear Mr. Brightside for the next decade or two, it’s odd to think that they’re a band scraping by on knocking out a handful of party hits and nothing more. Their latest album looks to lay that to rest, and Imploding the Mirage shunts its way into a rather weak release card for this year in music. Another studio offering from the men who dared to ask whether we were humans or dancers, The Killers’ latest attempt brings a muddled, underwhelming mixture of forgettable songs and over-baked commentary on the most obvious of topics. 

Elements of post-punk revival that their debut album offered up feel present, but muted and faux in the face of more generic-sounding pop tracks. Brandon Flowers’ voice is undeniably impressive, it’s just a shame he doesn’t do all that much with it. He’s not an innovator, he doesn’t offer up a new vocal style, yet has the range to do so. Instead, we’re offered up ten rather banal tracks of unwavering mediocrity. The titular song gestures to the muddled tracks that preceded it with a rather embarrassing pride, as if to smugly accept the feverish applause. It’s nowhere close to interesting or entertaining, never quite finding the balance of their earlier, popular tracks. 

A few songs do shine a tad brighter than others, with Blowback leading the charge, even with such simplistic lyrics. Compared with their previous works though, this feels like an album for those few, aforementioned fans. No party hits, no heavy-hitting tunes that are going to be on repeat in clubs, pubs, and bars for years to come. It’s relatively forgetful, which is a shame since I’d assume this is the album The Killers want to point at and argue their artistic importance. But, to be honest, they really aren’t all that important. Two party tunes spread across six albums isn’t the greatest track record available.  

Imploding the Mirage reeks of rather generic witticisms, topics covered by the band in their debut. A rare case of a group peaking with their debut record, The Killers aren’t exactly out to impress with this one, an album that feels conceptually void and rather underwhelming. They don’t quite implode the mirage, but they leave a tiny dent in it, which is better than nothing at this stage in their tenure as a band. Maturity doesn’t seem to be on their minds, and as they clatter their way through ten songs, clutching onto their youth, it feels incredibly bleak and clumsy. 

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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