open their sixth studio album with its title track. "Wonderful Wonderful," the song, is like a mini version of what plays out over the next nine songs that make up Wonderful Wonderful,
the album. It starts off with a tribal-like horn, announcing the approach of something great. It's all mystery, and it begins to build like clouds when a storm is coming. But you can only listen to Brandon Flowers make pleading promises to a "motherless child" so many times before the magic wears off and the build begins to plateau.
The best song on the album is the second one, a cheeky yet sexy groove called "The Man." Its attitude is all 80s without ever sounding like a mere imitation of the era. Even though the lyrics ought to be cringe-worthy - "I'm the man with the plan, I don't give a damn" - they evoke the mood of a Rocky movie training sequence without being sickeningly nostalgic.
As much as Flowers and Co. defend their positions as unbreakable manly men, most of the album is composed of saccharinely romantic numbers. They ask listeners not to give up on them, promising there's more greatness to come, more relevancy and swagger, and yet they need to sing four sonically similar songs to say the same things.
They do achieve a brief moment of the redemption they seek in the penultimate "The Calling." Actor Woody Harrelson delivers an opening monologue quoting Matthew 9:10-12 where he slurs the word "sinners" to sound like "senators." His voice melts into a pulsating beat reminiscent of Depeche Mode and dirt roads. The result is a badass call to faith you've never heard on your local Christian rock station.
The Killers want to be remembered as "The Man" and not the self-loathing "Mr. Brightside" anymore, but by closing the album with the question "Have All The Songs Been Written?" they inadvertently highlight their fears of redundancy. They don't want us to answer "yes."