‘Imploding The Mirage’ album review

Image courtesy of Facebook.com/TheKillers

album: Imploding The Mirage
artist: The Killers
genre: rock & roll
release date: August 21, 2020
star rating: four out of five

review by Levi Yager

Flashing the faded, timeless colors of their patchwork regalia, The Killers take us on another trip through Death Valley while ever pushing forward for the hope of life to come. Imploding The Mirage is a fantastic, kinetic album that sees the band unabashedly playing to their strengths – yet also experimenting a little here and there. It’s both accessible and interesting for any fan, and there’s bound to be at least something on it you’ll love.

“My Own Soul’s Warning” is a great first track. It opens with light, shimmering synthesizers wafting through lyrics about the complex dynamic of conscience and decisions. Then, drums, bass and xylophone build into the song’s dominant, guitar-and-synth-driven melody. At this point, “My Own Soul’s Warning” really gets up and moves. I enjoy the decorative aspects of this song; the mallets and keys are like calculated raindrops giving life to the soundscape.

We’re strong and steady all the way through track five. “Blowback” is number two, and it’s right in The Killers’ wheelhouse. We get a classic, blue-collar, fists-full-of-dreams, pockets-full-of-nothing song that far from fails the band here. And “Blowback” actually gets a bit of a sister track in number four, “Caution.” This one expands a similar story of a white-trash girl with grandiose ambitions. It revels in beautifully bold ‘80s vibes and the reckless abandon of getting “out of this town.” The wildly fun electric guitar solo near the end doesn’t hurt either.

Skipping ahead, perhaps the most unusual song on Imploding The Mirage is the sixth, “Fire In Bone.” It’s no doubt one of the most experimental tracks, and it’s the funkiest to boot. From one minute to the next, you can never expect what sounds will come your way. In the case of “Fire In Bone,” though, this is both a strength and a weakness. I definitely appreciate the song for its confidence and sonic variety, but it’s kind of all-over-the-place. Basically, I can see some listeners really digging “Fire In Bone” and others likely just hitting next. It’s not for everybody. But this progressive approach pays off in the ninth track, “When The Dreams Run Dry.” It’s a power ballad that features tropical sounds, mallets again and even a cool, trippy, electronic outro. The first half is on the slower side, but the second half touches down in a blazing lightning fire. It leaves its mark, for sure.

The last song is the title track. Here, The Killers give us another time-tested tale of boy and girl. Honestly, it’s the perfect way to cap off the album. “Imploding The Mirage” is a fun finale, spiced up with jovial keys in certain parts. It goes out with a bang – complete with a barrage of crash cymbals at the end – and is a spectacle of a song for a spectacle of an album.

This LP has pretty much everything I like about The Killers in one form or another. Their signature style of rock draws me in, and the album’s theatrical nature and pervasive pluck win me over. In the end, Imploding The Mirage feels like a love letter from the band to the dreams that take root and blossom, against all odds, in the miraculous Mojave Desert.

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