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Battle Born

From out of the wreckage of the American Civil War, the great state of Nevada came into being on October 31st, 1864. Its creation immediately helped to secure the re-election of Abraham Lincoln, the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and, ultimately, the future of the union. Today, that proud but painful history is enshrined in the two words emblazoned on the upper left-hand corner of the state flag: 'Battle Born'.

That phrase has always resonated with Brandon Flowers. It's what The Killers named their studio in Las Vegas, and when the band reconvened last May to start work on the follow-up to 2008's Day & Age, it became first a song title, then a thematic touchstone, and eventually the name of the album itself.

But not all battles are blood and thunder: after a yearlong hiatus that saw three of the four Killers launch solo careers, they quickly discovered that timing and circumstance can be daunting adversaries in their own right. Safe to say, Battle Born's title was well-earned.

“It's the hardest thing I've ever done, no question,” says Brandon. “It's the longest we've ever taken to make a record, and the longest I've ever spent on the lyrics. We thought we had enough songs, but then we realised that we didn't, and so we had to pound away and grind it out until we were certain that we were ready.”

And therein lies Battle Born's real triumph. Recorded almost entirely at the studio that shares its name, it incorporates elements from each of the records that came before it - Hot Fuss' storytelling eye for detail, the yearning, mythic Americana of Sam's Town, the gratuitous hooks and pop nous of Day & Age - without sounding overtly like any one in particular. It's the sound of a band recognising - and celebrating - their own identity.

To borrow Brandon's maxim, Battle Born is The Killers “Doing what we do best.”
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Recording information: Battle Born Studio, Las Vegas, NV; Blackbird Studios, Nashville, TN.
  • Photographers: Hirakawa; Wyatt Boswell.
  • Las Vegas-based post-punk/new wave pop provocateurs the Killers took a two-year hiatus after the release of 2008's Day & Age, allowing vocalist Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci the opportunity to release some long-gestating solo material, and providing the remaining members some much needed time off. After reconvening in early 2011, the band got to work on its fourth studio album, enlisting a small army of notable producers, including Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Stuart Price, and Brendan O'Brien. The resulting 12-track Battle Born was preceded by the predictably ambitious and soaring first single, "Runaways."
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.74) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The fourth Killers record might be their wildest neon-Springsteen fever dream yet."

Entertainment Weekly (p.137) - "BATTLE BORN is a testament to spirit and sheer will. It's an album about injecting a little majesty into the mundane and holding your head high..." -- Grade: B

Billboard (p.44) - "[T]he tone is serious and occasionally somber. Frontman Brandon Flowers grapples with nostalgic melancholia on more than a few songs..."

Q (Magazine) (p.88) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] thrilling victory of an album because at its heart it has the same great swirling mass of melancholic energy that drove their debut."

Paste (magazine) - "BATTLE BORN forges deeper into their distinctive traits and away from the compromises with radio or current trends....It's also their most consistent record since their debut..."
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