Influences & Inspirations: The Killers
The Killers’ third studio album, Day & Age, is a celebration of all things ’80s. Produced by Stuart Price, the mastermind behind new wave throwbacks Les Rythmes Digitales and Madonna’s 2005 Confessions on a Dance Floor, the Las Vegas band’s latest disc neatly captures all the excess, glitter and plastic emotion of the Reagan era by drawing on many of the usual influences, complete with leopard print trousers to match.
Duran Duran “The Seventh Stranger”
The Killers are so in thrall of these British synth-pop icons that in many ways their third album mirrors Duran Duran’s blockbuster third outing, Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Grappling with themes of sudden fame with a more contemplative tone, songs like “Neon Tiger” and “Goodnight, Travel Well” sound like straight descendents of this slow-burning epic by Simon Le Bon and company.
Bruce Springsteen “Jungleland”
The Killers haven’t completely shaken the Bruce Springsteen obsession that fueled their last album, Sam’s Town. Despite a few twinkling computer flourishes they’re still clearly channeling The Boss on new tracks like “Spaceman” and “A Dustland Fairytale,” particularly with blustery lyrics like, “Kind of slick chrome American prince/A blue jean serenade.
Ultravox “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”
“Human,” the first single from Day & Age, may be one of the most divisive things currently on the radio. With its ridiculous refrain, “Are we human? Or are we dancer?” (inspired by Hunter S. Thompson's suggestion that America was “raising a generation of dancers”), apocalyptic overtones and wind-swept synthesizer score, it could only be derived from the most absurd corner of MTV’s archives.
Pet Shop Boys “Se a vida é (That’s The Way Life Is)”
Steel drums? Latin rhythms? Saxophones? The artificial tropical feel of Day & Age songs like “I Can’t Stay” and “Joy Ride” echo this little-known Pet Shop Boys paean to island life by men that have obviously never even owned swimsuits.
Depeche Mode “Useless”
On “The World We Live In,” you can hear a sly funk influence creeping into The Killers’ grinding electronic score, much like Depeche Mode’s latter day gospel-inflected tunes. Singer Brandon Flowers’ has even adopted Dave Gahan’s haircut.