The Killers – Imploding the Mirage: Infectious melodies, heartfelt lyrics and a true masterpiece
The line between Flowers’s solo material and his band’s output has never been so fine. It was inevitable with the partial departure of bass player Mark Stoermer in 2016 (he only contributes in studio) and the complete hiatus of guitarist Dave Keuning since 2017. What The Killers lost in horsepower and pompousness, though, they make up for in sophistication.
Imploding the Mirage kicks off with the album’s masterpiece, My Own Soul’s Warning. This is easily the finest rock song of the year, one we should thank the Las Vegas four(three?)-piece for. It nails that longed-for balance between great lyrics, music production, singing and melody. Exploring the relationship between a man’s wrong choices and their consequences, it evokes beautiful images of eternity, sixth-sense feelings, regret and second chances. “I tried to against my own soul’s warning but in the end something just didn’t feel right,” Flowers sings while a synth-cum-guitar hook pushes the pace.
The album continues with Blowback, a country pop number telling the story of a girl with a difficult past. The singer-songwriter refers to her “white trash” background, something that will return later on Caution too. It follows Dying Breed, the latest release from Imploding the Mirage, a classic Killers song that starts as a mid-tempo and explodes in a Flesh and Bone fashion.
Keuning’s unique guitar parts are hard to replace – after all, he has defined many of the band’s most beloved songs – but the guest solo of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham on Caution, the debut single, is memorable and completely in line with the peaks from The Killers’ discography. Sung somewhere in between Mark Knopfler and Bruce Springsteen, the track makes a clear statement about the group’s form: we might be at a disadvantage, but we are still here.
There are some fillers around the album, but it’s nevertheless full of little gems like the middle-eight duet with KD Lang on Lighting Fields; or the Lucky Town-meet-Sultans of Swing savour of Running Towards a Place.
Fire in Bone – written with Stuart Price – is excellent, boasting an art rock vibe reminiscent of This Must Be the Place, before a 100%-pure Brandon Flowers chorus flames up with heartfelt lyrics such as “When I came back empty-handed […] you took me back home, after all that I took from you, after all that I put you through”.
Title track (and album closer) Imploding the Mirage is the most lighthearted and enjoyable moment in the entire record. Playing with words and rhymes such as camouflage, collage and mirage, Flowers ends with this unclear love story that will remain infectiously inside our ears.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Imploding the Mirage is released on 21st August 2020. For further information or to order the album visit The Killers’s website here.
Watch the video for My Own Soul’s Warning here: