The release of 2012’s Day & Age began the band’s sonic shift from pulsing indie dance-rock to their current synth-pop sound. It would be unfair to claim that Wonderful Wonderful is a poor album simply because it doesn’t sound exactly like Hot Fuss or Sam’s Town. However, it would be completely fair to claim that it is a poor album because… it is a poor album.
It would be unfair to claim that Wonderful Wonderful is a poor album simply because it doesn’t sound exactly like Hot Fuss or Sam’s Town. However, it would be completely fair to claim that it is a poor album because… it is a poor album.
This almost perpetually mid-tempo, quasi-disco offering fails to deliver on almost all of its ten tracks with songs either sounding bland or cringingly cheesy. Opening track ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ is a mildly operatic electro affair which, although it is ultimately forgettable, does set the tone well for the rest of the album. Next track is lead single ‘The Man’ – a poor man’s Daft Punk disco number with an undeniably catchy chorus.
Unfortunately, the next tune is nowhere near as attention-grabbing as ‘The Man’. “Don’t you give up on me / I’m just in a rut” sings Flowers in ‘Rut’, as you struggle to fight the urge to give up on him and just listen to Mr Brightside for the 1000th time instead.
‘Life To Come’ is one of the slower efforts on the album, which unfortunately only serves to lower a momentum which is already struggling to get going. Thankfully, ‘Run For Cover’ (the album’s second single) saves the day. This fast-paced slice of indie-rock sees a return to their signature mid-2000s sound. Flowers reverts to his previous singing style and, for once on the album, he doesn’t sound like he’s attempting to do a Freddie Mercury impression.
‘Tyson vs Douglas’ maintains the ‘Run For Cover’ upbeat tempo and is arguably one of the album’s stronger tracks, despite in parts sounding like it should be the background music for a boxing montage in an ‘80s film. However, the Rocky-style momentum is lost with ‘Some Kind Of Love’, a slower track which has a similar musical style to what I imagine a Bryan Adams ballad would sound like if played in a monastery.
‘Out Of My Mind’ is a decent, catchy track, ruined only by someone’s bizarre decision to have an unnecessary piano instrumental in the background. Strange musical choices were made again in ‘The Calling’, an odd fusion of blues and disco with an undesirable helping of cheese. Final track ‘Have All The Songs Been Written’ brings the album to a subdued (and forgettable) end – the only saving grace of this track being that the chorus is surprisingly stirring.
I would only recommend buying Wonderful Wonderful if you are a fan of dance music that doesn’t make you want to do more than walk to it. Or if your favourite microgenre is Queen parody bands. The Killers: you should have stuck to your mid-2000s indie-rock guns.
Rating – 2/5