Day & Age
Is that David Byrne’s worldbeat fluctuating through “Joy Ride”? Is that the Kinks’ Ray Davies being summoned in the neurotic vocal attack of “A Dustland Fairytale” or “I Can’t Stay”? Musically, The Killers are centered on the widescreen soundarama of the ‘80s, from New Order to the Pet Shop Boys. Considering the ‘80s are but a wistful dream to these young rockers, their attempt to re-invigorate that lost era with enough tough poses and careening stadium rock — all while writing a new chapter in post-punk rock in the process — is quite ambitious. Singer Brandon Flowers revels in the garish and overblown, turning this Las Vegas quartet into a Britpop band with fangs, as he continues to ransack the flamboyant poses of singers as heady as Bryan Ferry and Morrissey. The band has teetered between its Brit and American influences in the past, but for 2008’s Day & Age they’re waving the Union Jack and having a blast. “Neon Tiger” is a track worthy of David Bowie’s reinvention, while “Spaceman” could be the band’s autobiography, as they clearly have no intentions of settling for music rooted at an earthbound level.