OPINION: ‘Imploding the Mirage’ is groundbreaking

The Killers’ new album pushes boundaries, introduces new sound

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LAUREN PETTIT

The Killers’ new album brings new styles, ideas and musical techniques to the rock genre.

JOEY FRANKLIN, Evergreen columnist

The Killers’ new album “Imploding the Mirage” is the shot in the arm that the music industry needed. Rock music has felt stagnant and over-produced for too long. The catchy ‘80s-style synth beats and introspective songwriting has pitted this album up against any other that has come out in the last 20 years.

“Imploding the Mirage” is The Killers’ most recent release, following up “Wonderful Wonderful” from 2017. However, they have not released any memorable songs since 2006 with the song “When You Were Young,” channeling Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” scored the band the second spot on the pop charts.

“Mr. Brightside” is the Killers’ most successful song to date, being the 12th best-selling single of the 2010s. “Mr. Brightside” is a cult classic song that can be heard on the radio wherever you go.

“Imploding the Mirage” begins with “My Own Soul’s Warning,” in which lead singer Brandon Flowers belts out lyrics about staying true to yourself. The intro feels very airy, and the build-up from the intro to the first verse brings in bass, drums and xylophone to create a tension that is released when Flowers enters in the first verse.

The Killers channeled New Wave in this album compared to their first albums that were raw and drew inspiration from punk bands. “Running Towards a Place” is very reminiscent of the 1982 song “I Melt with You” by Modern English. The minor sound paired with the fast-paced drums makes “Running Towards a Place” a definite nod to the ‘80s.

The magnum opus of “Imploding the Mirage” is “Caution”. The fourth song on the album, “Caution” is the culmination of everything good about rock music. Flowers tells a story about a young woman who has “Hollywood eyes” and aspires to work her way towards a better life. “Caution” is almost an antithesis of “My Own Souls Warning,” where Flowers dares his listeners to take a chance and step into the great unknown.

This whole album seems to rhyme, the songs are intertwined, and they are about breaking personal limitations and stepping out of the comfort zone. The self-titled song “Imploding the Mirage” ties back to “Caution,” quoting “I threw caution ‘cause something about that yin and yang is pushing my boundaries out beyond my imagining.”

“Imploding the Mirage” is the hero we need but do not deserve right now. Completing and releasing the album during the COVID-19 lockdown is an incredible feat, and these songs have blown me out of the water. Top to bottom, the album is full of fun and memorable songs, my favorite being “Caution.”

Rock music has seemed sluggish since the introduction of grunge in the 1990s. New rock and metal has lost the legitimacy of recording through amplifiers. Computer software does most of the work, and instead of effects pedals and Marshall amplifiers, musicians seem to prefer recording directly into their computer interface with digital effects plastered on.

The Killers have broken the mold of contemporary corny rock stars like Nickelback and Linkin Park. Instead, the Killers have defied the music industries’ desire for rap and hip-hop and are steering rock back into the mainstream where it belongs. “Imploding the Mirage” is a musical reset and “Caution” should be in the conversation for song of the year.