The Killers have been releasing music for nearly 16 years now, starting with 2004’s Hot Fuss featuring the iconic singles “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me.” After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the band is back with Imploding The Mirage. The album deals with religion in a direct way, with many songs containing references to Flowers’ faith and his relationship with his wife. While some songs deal with heavy topics, all have the trademark 80s rock beats that The Killers are known for. Read on for our track-by-track review of the new album!
“My Own Soul’s Warning”
This ethereal opening track starts off softly, but then explodes into the trademark cacophony of sound The Killers are known for. The unique musical hook remains in your head long after the song ends. Lyrically, it’s a song about faith and what happens when you turn against your own conscience, creating an inner moral dilemma. It’s a great setup for the album, and I especially like the lyrics “If you could see through the banner of the sun/Into eternity’s eyes, like a vision reaching down to you/Would you turn away?/What if it knew you by your name?/What kind of words would cut through the clutter of the whirlwind of these days?”
“Blowback” is a catchy single that follows the story of a female protagonist looking to break away from her past, despite the fact that it keeps haunting her. Flowers’ strength as a lyricist again comes into play here, telling a compelling story that keeps you listening. He ends the song by addressing a man who thinks he’s in love with the female hero: “Can you cast out a demon?/Can you wrangle the wind?/Will you stay when she’s breathing the blowback again?”
This song has a propulsive beat that loops throughout the track, exploding as Flowers’ voice gets louder during the chorus. The opening utilizes a sample of Can’s “Moonshake” and it blends well with the rest of the track. It’s unique and clearly a song by The Killers, from the synthesizers to the talk of “the coveted touch of a girl in love.” It’s triumphant and gorgeously produced, perfect for dancing along to at a concert when we get the chance again.
The lead single from the album, “Caution” is an intensely personal song while retaining the dance-able beat The Killers are known for. It’s about leaving your old life behind when it no longer fits who you are, even if you’re scared. As usual, the lyrics tell a story you want to hear the end of, with the refrain being “If I don’t get out/Out of this town/I just might be the one who finally burns it down.” But it’s the final stanza that packs the greatest punch: “Cause it’s some kinda sin/To live your whole life/On a might’ve been.” Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Lindsey Buckingham’s amazing guitar solo at the end of “Caution.”
“Lightning Fields” (featuring k.d. lang)
The addition of k.d. lang’s voice to this song adds a lot to the emotional impact of the track, which was written about Flowers’ mother. As usual, the beat is catchy with a bass line straight out of a 1980s rock anthem, but it’s lang’s voice that makes it sonically stand out from the rest of the album. Flowers and lang’s voices complement each other and make this a memorable duet about loss and the power of love to transcend all.
“Fire In Bone”
“Fire in Bone” is a different sound for the band, leaning more into a “funk” genre than their usual rock. It also tells a biblical story, with allusions to the tale of the prodigal son returning. It’s a song about forgiveness, love, and reaching out for help within a toe-tapping beat. The best lyrics come from the chorus as the protagonist thanks someone for being there when he was alone: “And they say no one’s gonna save you/You gotta make it on your own/But I called from the dark/And you picked up the phone.”
“Running Towards A Place”
Flowers seems preoccupied with issues of faith on this album, and that is never more apparent than in “Running Towards a Place,” which clearly addresses his hope for a heaven and belief he will get there and bring others with him. The protagonist asks for the strength to go on, saying “Give me a song that I may sing/That cuts like a canyon and rides on a wing/And give a heart that I may stand/For what I believe in.” Like “Caution,” its lyrics deal with deep questions while the song itself is an anthem that encourages listeners to move to the beat.
“My God” (featuring Weyes Blood)
Weyes Blood’s voice is beautiful, and pairing it with this song makes “My God” something special. The production values build over the course of the song, sounding like a hymn if that hymn was written by a rock god. Flowers’ and Weyes Blood’s voices on the refrain of “My God, it’s like the weight has been lifted” over and over again creates a reverent celebration.
“When The Dreams Run Dry”
“When The Dreams Run Dry” is the closest song to pop this album has, with synthesizers working overtime. Much like “Running Towards a Place,” the track deals directly with the idea of the afterlife, with the protagonist saying “When they’re closing up the door/Nobody wishing that they weren’t more/Don’t bother with your suitcase/We’ll beat the birds down to Acapulco Bay/Oh, Honolulu on hearsay, running at our own pace/And I’ll be on your side when the dreams run dry.”
“Imploding The Mirage”
The title track is a joyous song that’s perfect to end the album on. Flowers’ vocals build up, leaping from note to note as if unleashed (which is saying something considering his loose style). The song is about Flowers’ wife, and the opening stanza makes that clear: “I was a timid Rockwellian boy/She was tattooed and ready to deploy/Gave me reservation and the like/But she could be the dangerous type/But I threw caution ’cause something about that yin and the yang/Was pushing my boundaries out beyond my imagining.” “Imploding The Mirage” is an upbeat end to what is largely a euphoric listening experience.
Imploding the Mirage is out now.