It’s ‘Day & Age’s birthday! That’s right, eleven years ago today, The Killers released this quirky little masterpiece into the world, and us Victims are all the better for it.
Eleven years on, ‘Day & Age’ still remains a solid album across the board, with synth-pop and new wave vibes making it The Killers’ most unique release to date. Until their new album drops in 2020, I take a look back at their most intriguing addition to their discography.
Lead singer Brandon Flowers once described ‘Day & Age’ as being the band’s “most playful record”, and he wasn’t wrong. It’s a rebellious, ballsy little entry, leaning more on new wave vibes and taking the pedal off their rock sound. It works beautifully, though.
Upon listening to it now, in line with their other five records, ‘Day & Age’ shines through in its own unique way. It has its own identity, its own point of view, and its own distinct sound. It’s a refreshing palette cleanser in The Killer’s musical catalogue, offering a lighter sound than we were used to at the time.
Storming in after one of their most impressive albums, ‘Sam’s Town’, ‘Day & Age’ serves as a sequel. As Flowers stated, the record is like “looking at Sam’s Town from Mars.”
The music itself is, of course, stellar (I mean, I’d expect nothing less from The Killers…). It’s breezy, synthetic rock/pop, with clear Bowie influences shining throughout its 11 track journey.
Opening up with the triumphant trumpets, ‘Losing Touch’ introduces us to an ethereal, feminine tune, with a dash of darkness as Flowers examines his own psyche.
There’s the brilliant ‘Human’, exploring humanity as a whole, but on a personal, introspective level. It’s a relatable tune, unafraid to tackle larger themes, dressed up in a Vegas tinted, 80s homage. Only The Killers could pull off such a feat so effortlessly.
‘Spaceman’ follows on from ‘Human’ beautifully, exploring similar themes on a wider scale. The sound of the track is the true gem, though, with pained vocals drawling throughout. It’s anthemic, fist-pumping stuff, injecting a little zest of rocker energy into the record.
‘A Dustland Fairytale’ is one of my favourite Killers tracks of all time, just putting it out there. Its tragic, fairytale-infused vibe will forever hold a very special place in my heart. It’s one of those tracks that’s forever on replay, and it’s a true highlight of The Killers’ third studio album.
Lyrically, The Killers never disappoint. It’s one of the reasons why they’re one of my most listened to artists of all time. ‘Day & Age’ features some of the best quirky, obscure lyrical entries into the band’s discography: ‘The decades disappear like sinking ships”, “the sky is full of dreams but you don’t know how to fly”, ” “castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalized” – it’s all such beautiful imagery that paints vivid images in the listener’s mind, conjuring up feelings and emotions that only The Killers can.
The quirkier tracks on the record, ‘Neon Tiger’, ‘I Can’t Stay’ and ‘Joy Ride’ really push the band’s boundaries, which is a glorious avenue to pursue at such an early point in their career. Props to them.
This record was a risk. The band could’ve quite easily rehashed the formula that made their first two entries so successful – but they didn’t. Instead, they experimented, with both sound and genre. Thankfully, it was a risk that paid off. ‘Day & Age’ demonstrates that The Killers are versatile, a band of the ages.
In short, ‘Day & Age’ is fun. It’s got all of the ingredients of stardom, the dreamy vocals, its unusual production, an unabashed viewpoint … All of it creates a razzle-dazzle potion of pop/rock tunes, and I can’t get enough of it.
Fun fact: ‘Day & Age’ shares its birthday with Lady Gaga’s ‘The Fame Monster’, born one year apart. November 18th is certainly a blessed day in musical culture!
For more on The Killers, check out my ranking of all of their albums! Or, for more on music, take a peek at my review of Muse’s ‘Simulation Theory’ Tour at the O2.
Grab yourself a copy of ‘Day & Age’ from Amazon down below, and celebrate a brilliant eleven years of the quirky little album.