The Killers’ “Wonderful Wonderful” is wonderless


Graphic by: Trinity Powell

The Killers released their fifth studio album, “Wonderful Wonderful,” on Sept. 22. This marks the first album released by the band in five years, with 2012’s “Battle Born” being their last full length release.

In order to hype up the album, The Killers released the single “The Man,” a dancey and funky jam that was a departure from their arena-style synth that defined their sound. And while alternative and indie bands going a more dancier route is quite the trend these days, with Queens of the Stone Age’s very solid “Villains” to Arcade Fire’s abomination “Everything Now,” it’s still interesting to see how The Killers will adopt this sound. So, is the dance filled return of The Killers a triumph of villainy, or will it end up like everything that’s now wrong with this trend?

The quick answer? No.

First off, “The Man” was a lie. Some tracks on this album can carry quite the groove, but in general, the album sounds nothing like a dance album. Instead it carries more of the stylings of 80’s pop music. Not the explorative kind of 80’s pop music artists like Michael Jackson championed. No, this album sounds more like an 80’s one hit wonder that tried their hardest to rip off the synth sounds of Michael Jackson, without attempting to rip off what made his songs so good and catchy. This makes the entire album sound like one giant flat mess with very little about it standing out.

That isn’t to say that the entire album is like this. The title track “Wonderful Wonderful” is a groovy, heavy, and bombastic beauty that easily carries the entire album. The aforementioned “The Man” is a wonderful tribute to dance music and is completely funky to the core. Both “Run For Cover” and “Tyson vs Douglas” do the 80’s synthpop thing right with equal parts pure energy and The Killers’ signature bombast. And “The Calling” is a fun bluesy and funky break filled with political overtones. The album is filled with fun songs to jam out to.

However, that does not save this album from its biggest sin. Originally, I was going to write this review in a track by track format. But then I listened to the album. Then I did it again. Then I relistened to a few select songs. After doing this I realized something. It is incredibly hard to remember these songs.

It is actually quite remarkable how forgettable this album is. If you were to play me the song “Rut” or the song “Out Of My Mind” or even the closing track “Have All The Songs Been Written,” I would not be able to tell them apart. Even with some of my favorite tracks on the album it can get hard to try and remember something distinct about them. I hate to keep bringing up “Villains,” but with that album after a single listen I could easily identify each song off that album without even trying. With “Wonderful Wonderful,” however, I still struggle with trying to remember anything about any of the songs. And that is ultimately its downfall.

Overall, “Wonderful Wonderful” could have been a great album. It had some killer tracks on the album couples with a trendy yet fun sound that anyone could enjoy. However, instead of exploring that sound, it fell back into a boring synth-pop that ended up making the album sound flat, repetitive, boring, and worst of all, forgettable. What could have ended up being one of The Killers best albums ended up being killed by what I can only comprehend as laziness.

“Wonderful Wonderful” gets a 2.5/5 stars.