Day & Age
The Killers remain a “band without an identity,” said Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. On 2004’s Hot Fuss, the Las Vegas quartet delivered “propulsive new-wave knockoffs” with the style of Morrissey and the swagger of “Let’s Dance”–era David Bowie. Then came the “self-serious arena-rockers” of 2006’s Sam’s Town, modeled after Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and exalted as “one of the best albums in the last 20 years” by none other than frontman Brandon Flowers himself.
For Day & Age, the Killers have curbed their egos, said Nick Catucci in New York. Realizing they’re just “cheesy pop geniuses,” the band gives up on any particular sound and instead concentrates on crafting catchy singles. The guiding principle is, “if it sounds good, use it.” The Killers hopscotch all over the musical map, paying visits to tropicalia (“I Can’t Stay”), synth-pop (“Human”), and Clash-style world music (“Joy Ride”).
While some tracks work, most don’t, said J. Gabriel Boylan in The New York Observer. But the songs, though self-indulgent, are at least short —which keeps the “rotten ones from stinking too much and keeps the ripe ones from going rotten.”