After the grand histrionic folly of Sam’s Town, the aesthetically unappealing follow-up to debut of Hot Fuss, Las Vegas’ most famous musical sons return to hopefully gain some gravitas away from the sequined jackets and silly statements. Alas, Day and Age seems to be a rather odd relation to those that came before it, though it is an improvement on the previous chapter in their story.
First song -Losing Touch’ is a nice overture, with a swathe of horns seemingly taken from Robert Palmer’s back catalogue. Brandon Flowers’ voice is more relaxed and less gung ho than before. Actually he sounds a little robotic at times, which is fi tting, as lead single -Human’ asks clunkily ‘Are we human? / Or are we dancer?’, while synths and guitars jostle for the ’80s new wave revivalist crown. The single bears the most obvious touch of producer Stuart Price, who himself used to knock out ’80s inspired electro-pop as Les Rythmes Digitales. The decade is all over the album, whether it be the Duran Duran / -Rock The Casbah’ mash of -Joyride’, complete with god-awful sax solo (not the only appearance of the devil instrument) or the -Lion Sleeps Tonight’ background oddity of -This is Your Life’. Even stranger is the bossanova -I Can’t Stay’, with harp, more saxophone and acoustic guitars jaunting in a whimsical style that convinces you it’s about time The Killers did a musical.
There are very few melodies worth singing along to here, something which the band have excelled at in the past. The weird mix of songs makes for an uneasy listen and it bewilders and baffl es in equal measure, without offering anything to hold onto.