'Wonderful Wonderful (Deluxe)' by The Killers delivers the band's signature style. Three out of five stars.
Fans of The Killers can open up their eager ears for the Las Vegas rock and roll band's latest album titled Wonderful Wonderful. The new release jumps, jives, tumbles and wonders. The synthesizer-laden, electric guitar rock sound that The Killers is known for is found on the album – much to the probable enjoyment of their listeners. There's also a little bit of musical experimentation.
Wonderful Wonderful begins with the song of the same name. It opens with some kind of horn-blowing, possibly on a conch shell (since a conch is on the album's cover). The title track proves to be an effective build-up song for the rest of the album, with a grooving bass line that carries it along. The lyrics are essentially about hoping for something good while in an undesirable situation.
Then, we get to "The Man." This song is dripping with disco vibes. It's a consciously silly, indulgent anthem for being the man. While this track could be very hit-and-miss with some The Killers fans, it's hard not to let it grow on you over time. "The Man" ends up begin memorable and catchy. Lead singer Brandon Flowers sings, "I got news for you, baby. You're looking at the man."
Once the third song comes around the bend, the listener is probably ready for something that sounds like classic The Killers. "Rut" delivers in spades. One of Wonderful Wonderful's best tracks, "Rut" has a world-weary hopefulness to it. Flowers sings, "Don't give up on me. I'm just in a rut. I'm climbing, but the walls keep stacking up." It may not be a complex song musically, but The Killers know what they're doing here. It's high-quality, straightforward rock and roll that suggests there's more to life's story when the deck seems stacked against you.
Later in the album, the band picks up the pace with highlights "Run for Cover" and "Tyson vs. Douglas." The most up-tempo tracks on Wonderful Wonderful, both bring necessary energy to the middle of the album. "Run for Cover" is about fear, consequences and running toward better things. "Tyson vs. Douglas" tells a unique coming-of-age story that references viewing the results of the 1990 Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas match, and the chorus begs to be sung along with. Each of those songs has varied uses of synths and guitars.
"Some Kind of Love" is the seventh track, and it's the first real slow song. As such, it becomes a standout on Wonderful Wonderful. It's also a good song in its own right. "Some Kind of Love" is about seeing the love and potential in someone. It features laid-back guitar playing, repetitive bass, breezy synths and subtle, high piano.
"The Calling" is a unique song on the album. First, it quotes Matthew 9:10-12 from the Bible. In addition, there are a lot of words in "The Calling" that are commonly linked to Jesus – as is the song's title. It tells bits of story while suggesting that the listener "lean into the light" for a great calling or destiny of sorts. "The Calling" is driven by bass and percussion, and it's enough to make you bob your head. Some lead guitar loops complement the beat.
The final shining moments of the deluxe edition are two techno remixes of "The Man." For listeners who don't care for the original version of the song, one or both of the remixes may be more satisfying. Fans of the original version should check them out, too. Neither remix is overly long, which is nice, and they're dance-worthy and fun.
When all is said and done, The Killers delivers a solid full-length record with decent replay value. There's a nice variety of songs, and they're easy to enjoy. People who are already fans of the band will likely be pleased with most of the album, and some of them will love all of it. Wonderful Wonderful may not be amazing amazing, but it's pretty dang good good.