Imploding the Mirage: An All American Epic

By Steven Lee Sep 25, 2020
Caption: The Killers band formed in Las Vegas in 2001.

If I could think of words to describe The Killers, it would be “bombastic” or “loud.” 

The Killers have always worn their Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty influences on their sleeves, their songs centering on the heartland rock genre. 

Songs about the blue-collared men, of small towns in the middle of the Vegas desert and lonely truck drivers. 

One could use this to indict The Killers, stating that they’re corny or trite. 

But in Imploding the Mirage, front singer Brandon Flowers biggest trait pays off in spades. 

His creativity and constant development as an artist, giving us the best album in The Killer’s discography ever since Sam’s Town

Brandon Flowers had a larger than life sized ambition and he succeeded with a larger than life album.

 Brandon Flowers described that the album was born from him and his family moving over to Utah, where he describes that he found his love for music. 

The point is interesting to note, considering that Flower’s main influence on his music had been Las Vegas, the city in which he had been raised. 

The contrast between the two cities works its way into the music of the album, as it manages to blend in heartland rock with the crooning acoustic strings and snazzy synthesizer that gives the album a unique sound. 

In the album, they also featured artists such as Weyes Blood and had The War on Drugs help with the production, further building on that fusion of sounds.

The content of the songs treads upon familiar ground for The Killers, with themes such as God and love. 

Flowers constantly explores the relationship between him and his wife on this album, with songs such as “Blowback” talking about her PTSD and how Flowers finds himself amazed by her strength. 

The album showcases those kinds of songs, Flowers relating and speaking of the brightest spots and struggles in their relationship. 

Flowers manages to breathe life into this album with his heartwarmingly earnest lyrics and the excellent sound design. 

The album has this enormous quality to it, almost like a storm plowing through a field. 

Songs such as “My Own Soul’s Warning”, “Imploding the Mirage”,  “My God” and “Caution” have an incredible use of elevating synths and excellent drumming, which gives it that certain larger than life sense. 

Meanwhile more musing songs such as “When the Dreams Run Dry” and “Running Towards a Place” still have that certain instrumentation, but also have insounds instruments such as the bass and choirs take center stage. 

They manage to maintain the trademark Killers’s grand tone, but suffice it with a more contemplative overtone.

And while the instrumentation is amazing, Flower’s songwriting manages to carry its weight too. 

He mixes in his usual allusions with more subtle melancholic and earnest tones. 

The songwriting truly is sincere and comes from a place of truth. 

It doesn’t feel lame or overblown, it has the exact amount of retrospective and passion in it. 

It’s difficult to not feel something with lines such as “She is sucking on a Tic-Tac A good man is a mystery, she’s looking for clues” or “Her mama was a dancer and that’s all that she knew, cos when you live in the desert it’s what pretty girls do.” 

The fusing of these lyrics, combined with the previously mentioned sound, makes a wonderful return for The Killers.


Favorite Songs: “My God”, “Blowback” and “My Own Soul’s Warning.”

Photo Credit: Redferns 
You may know The Killers from their most popular song Mr. Brightside.

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