The Killers- Day and Age
Written on February 2, 2012
Although The Killers third album Day and Age doesn’t pack the same punch as their first two albums, it is a very stylistically diverse album; therefore, it remains interesting and satisfying even after many repeated listens. It also comes across as a very mature album that is laced with great vocals and lyrics.
It almost seems like the Killers drew upon all their influences to create Day and Age, and there are songs to represent a myriad of different styles, so the album really creates a history book of the music that influenced The Killers. The big single from the album was “Human,” which is a great synth-pop song that really draws from the style of bands like The Pet Shop Boys, which Brandon Flowers has stated was a massive influence on The Killers. There’s also ballads like “Dust Land Fairy Tale,” which teeter very close to coming across as trite, but Flower’s vocal delivery absolutely makes the song and saves it from any sappiness or banality. Plus, you have plenty of up-beat pop rockers like “Spaceman,” “Joy Ride,” and “Neon Tiger.” Then lastly, there are some mellow rockers like “Losing Touch,” “This is Your Life,” and “I Can’t Stay.” They alternate between all these styles seamlessly and flawlessly, so the album doesn’t seem at all disjointed, but rather a coherent package of illustrious diversity.
I do want to point out that although the songs are all very stylistically different, they are consistent in quality, especially in terms of vocals and lyrics. Flower’s vocals sound very developed and mature, and there is great lyrical depth to many of the tracks. “Human,” for instance, could easily be taken as a simple dance song, and it has a dance rhythm to it, but it actually tackles much deeper themes. The main line to the song asks the question: “Are we human?/ Or, are we dancer?” The Killers have never explained the exact meaning of the song, and it is definitely open to interpretation, but I have always thought that “Human” is about fate vs. freewill. I think the lyrics indicate that being human is having freewill, and being a dancer is following fate. The dancer is an analogy for a puppet on strings— being controlled by a puppeteer or higher power. There are other lyrics to support this idea as well like “cut the cord” and “you got to let me go.” These lyrics imply the desire to be set free from fate and to be given freewill. For me, the most interesting lyrics come at the end of the song. They imply that none of us really know whether we have freewill (human) or whether we have to follow fate (dancer), but we are perpetually seeking this knowledge, and the final verse of the song begs for this answer: “And I’m on my knees/ Looking for the answer/ Are we human?/ Or are we dancer?” “Human” is just one of many songs on Day and Age with thought provoking lyrics, and all the lyrics certainly add to the appeal and overall sonic depth of the album.
Closing this out, I will make the point that this is not my favorite The Killers album, and I do rank it slightly behind Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town, but its diversity really makes it more interesting each time I listen to it; therefore, it is memorable, and a memorable album— one that will stand the test of time and not just become one of the many ghosts of records past— is really what every band wants, and The Killlers accomplish this with Day and Age.
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