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4.4 out of 5 stars
Battle Born
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134 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2012
There comes a time when you reach a certain age with music and realise that you're not going to jump up and down screaming anymore, asking what the hell was that I just heard on the radio... and where can I get it!? Gone are the days when the first riff of Smells like Teen Spirit turned you to jelly, the opening chords of Teenage Kicks left you feeling dizzy with excitement, and the clanging chimes of Born to Run made you pump your fists in the air with delight. Maybe it's age, maybe it's a rather jaded, cynical outlook we have with the music industry, if not life, these days that turns those of us of a certain generation to more contemplative reactions. So it was that I invested in the new Killers album, took one look at the cover and honestly cringed and laughed out loud all at the same time. People don't commission artists to make record sleeves like this anymore surely... do they? Horses, mountains, open roads, chinks of light beyond the threatening sky. This went out with Meat Loaf didn't it? Boston, Kansas? Any American band named after somewhere?! This can't be good, I thought. And then I started playing the record; and from beginning to end, I had a smile on my face. It was all instantly recognisable, clichéd in places, yes, stretching the bounds of even this band's ironic credibility, certainly.

But then on Runaways I suddenly found my hands holding that imaginary guitar again and powering those chords through "you know this is real babe why you want to fight it?". On Here with Me, was that really my arms in the air moving in time to "spent the summer, laying out in the sun, time went so slow"? Wait a minute, is that the sound of a crescendo building on Miss Atomic Bomb? I AM 18 again, going down to the pub with my mates, basking in the endless summer, listening to "the heart of a girl, seeing the time dripping down the clock, reminding us of a place from where we came."

Of course it's all nonsense, none of it is real. Rock music never has been. I've spent enough time in the United States to know that I've never chased a stallion down an open road on the way to Monument Valley. But I once dreamed of doing it growing up in a small town wondering if I'd ever see what Bruce saw in his songs! And now with Battle Born, The Killers have brought me back to that state of mind and will no doubt do so in the future every time I indulge in this record for forty minutes or so. Now that is what rock music is for! Recommended.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2012
I like this album. It's not original as such though. My first listens 'frightened me' with sounds of Voyager, Meatloaf, U2, Wilburys, Kate Bush, The Waterboys etc as some others have mentioned. These guys have really swiped (ahem, been influenced by) a number of sounds from other artists. Then I took a deep breath.

This was not the first time the Killers have done this to me. I loved Hot Fuss and Sam's town. When I got Day and Age, I think I threw it across the room after the second listen..I think it may have been the Copacabana(!) sounds of Joyride? It took me a year or two to get over that, then I saw the Albert Hall concert and realised they were still awesome and I actually liked D&A!

So what of this album? The problem is everyone expects to hear a new album the same as the last (or the one they like). In this case everyone wants the edgey Killer sound of old. Well it ain't going to happen, you are only cool for so long. It doesn't mean you a crap, just that you have developed. The old songs are still there, its a case of putting the new songs alongside them and admiring them as a collection of work. The songs of Battle Born take a while to love but then you appreciate the little licks, the lyrics and realise it is good. If they kept playing the same 'song' you would get bored and hate them for that to! You can't write Mr Brightside twice. Songs of that standard just mean the Killers will always be around. The only way you can judge the album is with time. Every great artist has duffers, it doesn't negate them as an artist, you just have to make sure you haven't missed a gem along the way.

As it is, I think this is a strong album. I give it 4 star now after 4 days of constant play. I don't think there is a bad track on it especially, if you can get past the "where have I heard this intro from..." I think a lot of the tracks will sit well with the others when they play live on their upcoming tour.
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on 27 December 2012
Immediately, the most interesting track is "Flesh and Bones" which carries on the themes of "Human" from "Day and Age". Interesting lyrics almost veering in to Bono/U2 territory. The synthesiser square wave beep at the beginning of track reminded me of the BBC Micro/ZX Spectrum games in the home computing boom of the 1980's. It an more advanced song than "Human" for the musicality inclined. There is more lyrical syncopation and vocally call-and-response in this one.

Second track is "Here With Me" which is the ballad of the album. It will be great for the travelling salesperson, or people who have romantic distance relationship. The track is very well produced and the orchestral arrangements are spot on. A great stand-out for the twenty first century and the tens beyond on doubt.

Third track for "Deadlines and Commitments". The lyrics will appeal to anybody who struggles to keep different people in their life happy, anyone who has make trade-offs in business, leisures or manages teams. The music will appeal to those who have fallen on hard times, I think; particularly those unlucky to be laid off from work, because Brandon gives you the lift to carry on.

Four track for me is a tie between "Miss Atomic Bomb" and the title track "Battle Born"; I am slightly warming to both of them. The former appeals to fellows have known a feisty maiden or two. The latter is again another anthemic strut for anyone about to go war, who trains in the gym, who wants to fight back against "The Man" (or "The System") or just wants to let rip with a safe manner behind closed down whilst pumping their fist or something.

Enjoy.
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on 8 October 2012
I've never been a firm believer in the term an album can be a "grower". I usually find if it is a special album it usually hits you straightaway and then it's confirmed upon second listening, for me at least anyway.

There is always an exception to the rule however and for me this was it. I've bought all of The Killers previous albums and as a matter of course purchased this on release. Upon first listening I must admit I was rather underwhelmed barring the single "Runaways" the rest of the album just seemed to pass in a blur of noise.

Fortunately however as I made a copy for the car and it was the only CD in there all weekend it got a fair few listens and finally after picking up tracks by each play through I dare say this is a fine album. It's by no means groundbreaking and probably won't earn The Killers many new fans but I dare say it's their best output yet. It is almost a halfway house in sound between their debut Hot Fuss and Sam's Town. The stadium electric anthems are there in the first two tracks Flesh & Bone and Runaways while more subtle numbers Miss Atomic Bomb and Be Still keep it from been a complete 40 minute onslaught. There are a few tracks in the middle that while they fill the album up nicely are rather forgettable most notably The Rising Tide.

I read somewhere the album had around six producers and it shows as the album never takes a consistent sound which may or may not be a good thing depending on your preference. In my opinion however while Brendan Flowers has a cracking voice it can start to become stale after 30 minutes against the same backdrop of music therefore the constant different directions of sound carries him through the album well.

On first listen it's a standard 3 star album after giving it time it's an easy 4 star effort.
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on 7 March 2013
Got this album the day it came out and have to admit it took some listening to at first, this is grittier and stronger than day and age with sweeping tales of young love and heartbreak.

As a band the Killers have improved so much since there last offering and i definately think the hiatus has proved to be the making of them, they are tighter as a band not just on CD but also live. I saw them on the opening night of there battleborn world tour and they were fantastic, having seen them live recently i have even more of an admiration for this album and my stand out tracks are runaways,deadlines and commitments,miss atomic bomb & from here on out.

The one thing i will tell people is not to compare this to any of there other stuff, hot fuss it is not ...the killers have evolved and it needs to happen if they are to stand the test of time, that is the test of a truly great band transcending eras and never being afraid to try a different direction and i persoanlly applaud them for it !!
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on 11 November 2012
First a complaint: just once I'd like to receive a CD or DVD from Amazon that still has the wrapping on it and hasn't plainly already been played (and probably recorded). If the product's second-hand, I expect to pay a second-hand price for it. Very poor.

As for the CD, well, The Killers are notorious for making albums that sound rather dull and unoriginal the first time you hear them. I remember when I first bought Day and Age. I hated it so much I deliberately set about it with a knife. It took me months to play it again. Then, of course, I became hopelessly addicted. This is certainly no exception. I could believe the whole thing has been recorded in a spirit of high irony, but I doubt that's the case. For those who have criticized it, put your knives away, play it some more. You'll love it.
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on 29 November 2012
I'm a late convert to the Killers, hadn't even heard of them until a couple of years ago, but then Im in my mid 50's and dont often like anything that my daughter plays! Day & Age was different though and loved the album from the start, then delving back in time and finding that I liked Sam's Town even better!

Battle Born for me takes them (the killers) a step further forward, yes some of the songs are ballads...... but really good ones and really well sung and put together. There isnt really a track I dont like, which is very very rare on any album Ive ever bought, and there are 9 really great ones. My favorite is ... it varies from day to day really, but at the moment 'Heart of a Girl' is playing in my mind, but tomorrow it will be any of the others.

Cant recommend it enough!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 November 2013
I held out on immediately listening to The Killers' 2012 album 'Battle Born' after being slightly disappointed by their third (although I thought 'Day & Age' was mostly good, but too much filler, and not up to the high standards of the first two), but always intended to buy it. After over a year, I've done it, and as soon as I heard 'Runaways', my immediate thoughts were: 'Welcome Back'!

I admit that I did have to play it a few times over to be able fully appreciate it, but can now safely rate it five stars - it IS a very good album. There is much variety, including fun songs to sing along to (the opening track 'Flesh and Bones' is the 'Human' of this album), epic big songs and brilliant ballads. Brandon Flowers has always written with such emotion, and some of his best lyrics can be found here. I particularly enjoy 'Here With Me', which is a beautiful soft-rock song, which, as well as several others could be used in the soundtrack to a film centering around a hero.

'Battle Born' is very commercial, radio friendly, and a return to the type of quality music that we first heard from the band ten years ago (I can't believe that they have been around for a decade!). Although I don't think it would be considered as 'cool' as 'Hot Fuss', the style is certainly different, it leans more towards soft-rock, but I think it just might be The Killers' best album yet.

'Battle Born' was a pleasant surprise, but I only wish I'd started listening to it sooner. I'm making up for it now though, and if album number five is even the slightest bit like this one, i'll have it on pre-order next time.
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on 4 January 2013
This album contains some of the most beautiful, encouraging, thoughtful and exciting songs I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. If you are a lyrics person like me, you will love this album. The melodies are beautiful and the songs remind me of the classic rock genre with a twist. It makes me feel like I am driving through a desert towards a place were I will be face to face with my greatest fears and biggest dreams.

I absolutely love this album at the moment and find that I can connect to the lyrics and melodies in the songs in a way that I can't with other albums out at the moment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2013
I bought this for my boyfriend and he's extremely satisfied with it. I think this is the worst album of The Killers, but I have nothing bad to say about the package.
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