It’s almost impossible to come across a new release in 2020 without the artists making reference to change, whether it’s personal, process, politics, or all three. Simply looking the other way seems like wasting a voice; for bands like The Killers however who have always dealt with the world from 20,000 feet, confronting this elevated consciousness was never going to be easy.
If anyone was looking for contrition from Brandon Flowers and co. – remembering that Dave Keuning appears to still be largely absent – for them Imploding The Mirage will be a disappointment. Beginning with the artwork, this is a record which has little interest in binding itself with guilt, fear or looking inwards. Partially inspired by Flowers relocating with his family from Las Vegas to Utah, there’s no shortage of his old stamping ground’s bombast, from the widescreen opener My Own Soul’s Warning to Caution’s stadium-friendly heft.
There are at least some diversions – Dying Breed samples Neu!, whilst outliers such as Weyes Blood, Blake Mills and The War On Drugs Adam Granduciel all make contributions of some sort – but at it’s core, with the likes of Blowback, Running Towards A Place and When Dreams Run Dry, nuance is in short supply.
How much have The Killers changed? On the evidence of Imploding The Mirage, not very much. Everything they do well remains here and is just as eminently bankable as ever; whether the old normal will still work in the age of the new abnormal is a question we can only know the answer to over time.
You can read the full review – here.