Earlier this year, I wrote a fake letter to Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers, pleading him to release any information he could about the band’s return from hiatus.
We all knew it was coming. And tomorrow (Sept. 22), the moment we’ve all been waiting for will arrive: the release of the Las Vegas group’s fifth LP, titled Wonderful Wonderful.
We’re very pro-Killers at Alternative Echo, so rest assured, we’ll definitely be covering the album in its entirety tomorrow. But for now –
This is my ranting and ranking of each Killers albums to date (including Sawdust).
Watch out. Things might get a little controversial in here.
5.) Day & Age (2008)
We’re starting the list at the bottom with 2008’s Day & Age. This album introduced us to the synth-y “Spaceman,” and the iconic “Human.” More importantly, it brought us the ultimate tear-jerker, “A Dustland Fairytale,” a tribute to Brandon’s mom who died of cancer.
As much of a Killers fan as I am, I have to admit I don’t jive with all their songs. Don’t get me wrong, I like them all. But I’ll listen to some far fewer than others. There are too many of those songs on this album for me to put it any higher on the list.
4.) Sawdust (2006)
Released in between Sam’s Town and Day & Age, Sawdust is an EP filled with unreleased songs, covers and remixes. It’s on this record that we hear the first installment of the supposed “Murder Trilogy,” three songs, released out of order, depicting the story of Jenny and the narrator, her murderer. It all starts with “Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf,” track No. 4 on this album. It’s one of the best on the record.
We’ve also got infectious jams like, “Daddy’s Eyes,” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town,” and “Sweet Talk.” Due to its release shortly after Sam’s Town, we get that gritty, Americana Rock these desert dwellers do so well.
Unfortunately, there weren’t enough clear winners on this album to rank it higher.
3.) Hot Fuss (2004)
Okay, I’m expecting to get burned at the stake for this one. “Nicole,” you may ask, “Why on earth are you putting Hot Fuss so low on your list? It is easily one of the greatest albums of the 2000s!”
YES there are the obvious classics (“Mr. Brightside,” “Somebody Told Me,” “All These Things That I’ve Done”), and the two remaining tracks of the Murder Trilogy (“Midnight Show,” and “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine”), but much of the rest seems…
Repetitive? I don’t know. I think this is a great album, but when you have to pick and choose which ones are better than others, you have to grasp at straws. The truth is, The Killers have better to offer.
This is the quality journalism you came here for, I know.
2.) Battle Born (2012)
Often regarded as The Killers’ worst album, I’m putting Battle Born as No. 2 on my list. I’ve listened to this album front to back many times, and I still don’t understand the criticism. Even the band doesn’t like it very much.
Why?? These songs are soaring and ambitious and good, plain and simple.
The day this album dropped, I went to the store, purchased it, then promptly put it in the car’s stereo. This was before the days of putting out 17 songs as singles prior to the album release, so I was going into Battle Born blind. Or would it be deaf? Whatever. The point is, from first listen, I knew this album would resonate with me.
I’ve often said that if I were to get a tattoo of music lyrics, they would undoubtedly come from “Be Still,” the 11th track on this album. The song features perfectly crafted lines, like, “Be still/One day you’ll leave/Fearlessness on your sleeve,” and “May your limits be unknown/And may your efforts be your own.”
For this song alone, Battle Born lands high on my list. Not to mention that “Miss Atomic Bomb” (above) is a direct prequel to “Mr. Brightside.” That’s just magic.
1.) Sam’s Town (2006)
“The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun. Can you read my mind?”
The Killers are Sam’s Town. There’s a reason they celebrated the 10-year anniversary of this record with a concert at the actual Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas.
It’s not over-produced, it’s not “studio perfect.” It’s real, which is the very best way to describe this album. Sam’s Town takes the idea of a sophomore slump and throws it out the car window into the Mojave Desert sun. It is flawless. I thought this when it first came out, and 11 years later, it still holds up.
“Read My Mind,” “For Reasons Unknown,” “When You Were Young,” “Bones.”
Each song stands on its own. It has all the criteria of a No. 1 album.
Welcome Wonderful Wonderful
It’s been five long years since The Killers’ last LP, and us Victims in the fandom have been replaying old song after old song, begging for newer content. Well, my friends, the time has come. I’m nervous, but excited. Let’s do this.