I hope you like extremely cheesy and bombastic pop as The Killers have outdone themselves on Imploding the Mirage. The scale on their sixth album is as epic, arena friendly and as Springsteen meets U2 like as ever, with lyrics full of loved up small town dreamers and personal stories of love, loss and faith. The most noticable thing being the 80s, synth pop inspired sound.
Lead single ‘Caution’ is a story of a girl from the poor side of town, yearning to break free and start anew. It is classic blue collar Killers fodder, set to exultant pop rock awash with swirling synths, effervescent guitar and a rather stirring solo courtesy of Lindsey Buckingham. ‘My Own Soul’s Warning’ is another fist pumping track straight out of the bands signature sound, an exultant slice of power pop with a driving rhythm – similar to ‘Run for Cover’ from previous album Wonderful Wonderful. ‘Dying Breed’ is another bright and up-tempo song that, after a restrained start, comes to life in an explosion of melodramatic energy. These tracks have got some oomph and a sense of urgency, something their last album was in need of.
This is their first album without guitarist Dave Keuning, and with Shawn Everett and Jonathan Rado in charge of production – the latter helped bring Brandons love of synth and 80s pop to the fore. A notable example being the Talking Heads inspired, funk infused groove of ‘Fire in Bone’. The following song ‘Running Towards a Place’ is a softly done cheesy pop song reminiscent of The Night Flight Orchestra, full of the emotive hyperbole and bombast that colours this album.
Alongside the bubbly rhythms and catchy choruses (the title track will not leave my head) is a tendency to be over indulgent, with tracks getting crushed by their grandiosity and epic scale – ‘When The Dreams Run Dry’ a prime example. The cheese and occasional overindulgence aside, Imploding the Mirage is a fun 42 minute serving of catchy, synth pop influenced bombast that is not afraid to lay it on thick.