Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

I think I have my album reviews / releases / purchases planned until the end of the year. One less thing that Blobby has to worry about.

Last month, the Killers released their disk, Wonderful Wonderful.   Or as Blobby got, Wonderful Wonderful (deluxe edition).  I swear, one day the 'deluxe' part will pay off.  All the deluxe version gets you is one additional song and two remixes of their first single, "the Man".

Hmphf !!

Pre-rerelease press for the album would have you believe it was a somewhat return to the band's debut, Hot Fuss.  It is, and it isn't.

Sure, there are classic Killer elements to the disk, but not as many as expected. They do branch out quite a bit too - mostly for the better.

With their initial single, "The Man" the song deviates enough from anything they've done before. Yes, it took me about 6-7 listens to become fully intrigued by it. I don't say this lightly, but it might be my favourite song of 2017 even if it seems to be sampled from a Kool & the Gang song of which I'm not familiar (which would be 99% of their material) and while sonically it is extremely, extremely busy, it still works....and well.

The second release was "Run for Cover" is what I would call the Hot Fuss Factor.  The pace, the melody, even most of the phrasing, though I do like it when in a place or two they start the chorus on an off-beat. The other Hot Fuss Factor moment is "Tyson vs Douglas".  The music is all Hot Fuss - which isn't a bad thing, and the vocals are sound like the same style as that debut. But really a song on boxing.....or a boxing match metaphor? For the record, Brandon Flowers was 9 when this fight happened.

Other traditional-like Killer tracks are "Life to Come".  "The Rut" sounds like a discarded track from one of Flowers' solo disks. It's not a must-listen song.

"Have All the Songs Been Written" is a nice slower number. It's nothing groundbreaking, though in my initial play, I'm all like, 'well, they sure are doing a decent imitation of Mark Knopfler's guitar work'......until I found out it was Knopfler himself.  Even 710 said, "sounds like Dire Straits". The Killers and Flowers have never been subtle or shy about using influences - if not outright sampling them (Springsteen, Bronski Beat, New Order....).

While I keep hearing that the band pays homage to Brian Eno with "Some Kind of Love", I get way way way more of a Shin's "So Now What" vibe.  It's nice, it's airy and ethereal, but if singles still existed, it would the b-side.

And I totally dig "The Calling".  It's got a great rhythm section and a good groove. Sure it has a bit too much of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" guitar work for my liking, but see two paragraphs above.  Yes, it's Flowers' contractually obligated one-song per disk about his growing up in a smaller Mormon town, complete with a Woody Harrelson narrated bible passage, but it actually really works.

The 'extra' tracks are one original and two remixes. "Money on Straight" is ok, but you can see why it's an additional and didn't make the standard cuts. Both of the remixes of "the Man" are ok. Maybe the Duke Dumont one is better, but I wouldn't be rushing to the dance floor for either one. I might for the original version.

The title track is what I think I might love most on this disk. I feel it is where the band stretches the most. It's different enough to be interesting and it moves along well. I think if more of their songs were a bit more adventurous it would have been an outstanding disk.

Overall, Wonderful Wonderful  was wonderful, but not wonderful wonderful. 

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