Battle Born

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This article is about The Killers' album. For the Five Finger Death Punch song, see Battle Born (song).
Battle Born
Studio album by The Killers
Released September 17, 2012
Recorded October 2011 – May 2012, Battle Born Studios, Las Vegas, Nevada & Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
Genre Alternative rock, heartland rock, new wave, Arena Rock[1][2]
Length 51:18
Label Island, Vertigo
Producer The Killers, Stuart Price, Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O'Brien, Daniel Lanois
The Killers chronology
Day & Age
(2008)
Battle Born
(2012)
Direct Hits
(2013)
Singles from Battle Born
  1. "Runaways"
    Released: July 17, 2012
  2. "Miss Atomic Bomb"
    Released: October 23, 2012
  3. "Here with Me"
    Released: December 16, 2012

Battle Born is the fourth studio album by American rock band The Killers, released on September 17, 2012, through Vertigo Records in the UK and the following day on Island Records in the US.[3] The phrase "Battle Born" appears on the state flag of Nevada and is the name of the recording studio owned by the band, where the majority of the album was recorded.

Recorded following an extended hiatus, the band worked with five producers during the recording of the album: Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O'Brien, Stuart Price, and Daniel Lanois.

Background and recording[edit]

Following the completion of the band's Day & Age World Tour in January 2010, the Killers announced that the band would be entering an extended hiatus. During this time, frontman Brandon Flowers and bassist Mark Stoermer released solo albums, Flamingo (2010) and Another Life (2011), with drummer Ronnie Vannucci releasing a studio album with his side-project, Big Talk, and recording with Mt. Desolation. Regarding the band's hiatus, Flowers noted, "Dave needed to see his kid and rest up. That was just how it worked. And so we ended up going off and doing solo things, and spending our time that way, and that was good, too. It was a good experience. It definitely taught us different ways of thinking about music."[4]

In October 2011, the band ended its hiatus to begin work on a fourth studio album.[5][6] Initial sessions were strained, with Flowers noting that the band members spent "about a week just eyeballing each other in a room."[4] The composition of the album's first single, "Runaways", marked a turning point in their reunion, with Flowers noting: "That and "Miss Atomic Bomb" were the backbone of this record. They made me feel we were on the right track."[4]

Working at their Las Vegas studio, Battle Born, the band worked with producers Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O'Brien, Stuart Price, and Daniel Lanois.[7] Initially, the band had wanted to work with just one, but scheduling proved difficult for each.[8]

The album was partially mixed by Alan Moulder, who also worked on the band's first two albums.[9]

Release[edit]

On June 7, 2012, The Killers released a trailer for Battle Born.[10] The track listing was announced on August 16.[11] The album' first single was "Runaways", which received its first radio play on July 10. The single was leaked on Tumblr only hours before its official radio preview.[12] Battle Born was released on September 17, 2012, in the United Kingdom and on September 18 in the United States. A week later, on September 25, the album was released as a vinyl disc.[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 3 in the US on the Billboard 200, selling over 113,000 copies in its opening week and maintaining a top 10 position in the second week.[13]

The album was their fourth consecutive number-one album in the UK and Ireland, despite same-week releases from Pink and Kanye West. Battle Born sold 94,000 copies in the UK in its opening week, at that point the third-highest opening of 2012.[14] The album also debuted at number three on the Canadian Albums Chart selling 12,000 copies.[15] The album reached the top 10 in twenty countries and sold approximately 1 million copies worldwide in 2012.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (64/100)[17]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[18]
The A.V. Club B[19]
Entertainment Weekly B[20]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[21]
Melodic 4/5 stars[22]
NME 7/10[23]
Q 4/5 stars[24]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[25]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[26]
Spin 8/10[27]

Battle Born has received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic—which assigns a "weighted average" rating out of 100 to selected independent ratings and reviews from mainstream critics—the album has received an Metascore of a 64, based on 27 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17]

Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly wrote:

The Killers themselves have always gone for the gold, boldly aiming to fill exotic stadiums with full-throated anthems about big ideas. Like the band's previous output, Battle Born only knows how to be epic: Opener "Flesh and Bone" begins as a glitchy Soft Cell throwback before rapidly expanding into a glorious fireworks-and-brimstone sermon, while "Miss Atomic Bomb" drives into the desert sunset in a convertible fueled by echoey guitars and glistening-eyed nostalgia. These are big songs, determined to deliver photo-finish climaxes every few seconds.[20]

The Guardian '​s Kate Mossman gave the album three out of five stars, saying:

With stagey soundscapes more Meat Loaf than Springsteen, and lines overloaded with postcard imagery ("Your star-spangled heart took a train for the coast"), you struggle to find the energy till the third or fourth listen, when "Heart of a Girl" (co-written with Daniel Lanois) and "From Here on Out" (which sounds just like the Eagles) reveal themselves to be the sweetest, most sincere explorations of a kind of US rock that will always raise hairs on the necks of those who like this sort of thing.[21]

Accolades[edit]

Battle Born was voted the second Best Album of 2012 by the readers of Rolling Stone magazine.[28] Fuse's staff listed it as the 23rd Best Album of 2012.[29]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Fuse[29] US The 40 Best Albums of 2012 2012 23
Rolling Stone[28] US The Best Albums of 2012: Readers' Poll 2012 2

Track listing[edit]

Battle Born marks the first time someone other than a member of the band has received a writing credit on a Killers studio album; Daniel Lanois has credits on three songs, and Fran Healy co-wrote "Here with Me".

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Flesh and Bone"   Flowers Lillywhite, Taylor 4:01
2. "Runaways"   Flowers O'Brien, Lillywhite, Taylor 4:04
3. "The Way It Was"   The Killers, Lanois O'Brien 3:51
4. "Here with Me"   Flowers, Healy O'Brien 4:52
5. "A Matter of Time"   The Killers Taylor, Lillywhite 4:11
6. "Deadlines and Commitments"   Flowers Taylor 4:22
7. "Miss Atomic Bomb"   Flowers, Vannucci Price 4:53
8. "The Rising Tide"   Flowers The Killers 4:17
9. "Heart of a Girl"   The Killers, Lanois Lillywhite, Lanois 4:34
10. "From Here on Out"   Flowers Lillywhite 2:27
11. "Be Still"   Flowers, Lanois Taylor 4:33
12. "Battle Born"   The Killers Lillywhite 5:13

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]