Nearly three years after announcing a short hiatus, The Killers are back with their fourth full-length studio album, Battle Born.
In January 2010, just after the close of their world tour supporting 2008’s Day & Age, the band announced that they would be taking a break. The various members spent time working on solo albums and side projects, and in May 2011 they entered the studio to begin work on Battle Born.
The album was released Tuesday, riding the strength of its first single, “Runaways,” which was released July 17 and peaked as high as No. 7 on the Billboard’s U.S. Alternative Songs chart.
Critical reception has been generally favorable so far, with the album attaining an aggregate score of 68 out of 100 on Metacritic. Jon Dolan calls Battle Born the band’s “wildest neon-Springsteen fever dream yet” in his three-of-five star review for Rolling Stone.
For the most part, the latest effort from Brandon Flowers and co. sounds a lot like what you’re used to hearing from the group of alternative rockers: towering anthems, sweeping ballads and enough Springsteen callbacks to make anyone start feeling nostalgic. Where most critics seem to agree the album falls short is in toeing the fine line between genuine grandiosity and cheap, overblown rock.
As Chris Bosman writes in his two-of-five star review for Consequence of Sound, “The tragedy of Battle Born is that even when it shouts at the top of its lungs, it never reaches that special place that the band accidentally trips into with their best material.”