Day & Age is the third studio album by American rock band The Killers, released in November 2008 in the UK, Canada and the United States. Frontman and lead vocalist Brandon Flowers stated that it is the band's "most playful record." To date, Day & Age has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Following the release of the album, the band embarked on the hugely successful worldwide Day & Age Tour.
The band began writing the tracks for Day & Age while on the road during the Sam's Town tour. Producer Stuart Price had worked on some Killers remixes, but the band had still never met him until they connected in London in 2006. Price and the band had dinner, before returning to his home studio and recording the lead single "Human" in just two hours. Work on the album was conducted on an international basis; demos that were made in Las Vegas were sent to producer Price in London over the Internet, who would then call back to discuss the recordings. With the album largely done, the Killers met at their Las Vegas studio in May 2008 to put the finishing touches on the album. Flowers stated that the concept for the album is a "continuation" of Sam's Town, saying "it's like looking at Sam's Town from Mars".
When asked where the album's title came from, Flowers replied, "I don't know. You wait for moments. I just wait for it to come, and I knew that [Day & Age] was right when I had it." The album's title is also part of the lyrics to two of the album's tracks: "Neon Tiger" and "The World We Live In."
The Killers selected Paul Normansell to create the artwork for the album. Portraits of the band members themselves are included in the album. These portraits can be seen at various parts of the "Human" video, as well as the cover of Day & Age and the CD insert. On December 8, 2008, Rolling Stone named the album cover for Day & Age the best album cover of 2008. On December 15, Rolling Stone readers voted Day & Age the Album of the Year.
In September 2009, Flowers commented on the album, stating:
"It sits well with our other two albums. It's obviously a little more on the pop end of things; it's not quite as masculine as Sam's Town, but I like it. "Spaceman" is such a playful tune, it makes my body do things I've never done before. "Human" is one of our best recordings so far. I don't think we've made our best album yet, and that makes me happy, to know it's still out there."
The first single from the album, "Human", was released to radio on September 22, 2008, and became available for download on September 30, 2008. The band performed "Human" and "Spaceman" on the October 4, 2008 episode of Saturday Night Live. They released the video for "Human" in October 2008.
"Spaceman" was released for download on November 4, 2008 in the US. The vinyl edition was released in the US on November 18, 2008, and included a free download of the album from Island Records. The music video was released in January 2009.
The third single varies from country to country. "The World We Live In" is the third single in Europe and Australia while "A Dustland Fairytale" is the third single in the United States. The single "The World We Live In" has been described as "a song that gives you a disney/floating in the air feeling" by music critic Brian Narvaez.
As with the album cover, the singles' covers were designed by Paul Normansell and consist of the same individual band member images that appear in the album's booklet. Dave Keuning's picture was used for the "Human" cover, and the "Spaceman" cover was Brandon Flowers. Ronnie Vannucci's picture features on the single "The World We Live In". Mark Stoermer is on the cover for the single, "A Dustland Fairytale".
Additionally, the band released a video for "Goodnight, Travel Well" in partnership with MTV EXIT, UNICEF, and USAID in order to raise awareness about human trafficking. It premiered globally on MTV on July 13, 2009 and on UNICEF's YouTube page the next day.
Critical response to Day & Age was mostly positive.USA Today, which gave the album three-and-a-half stars, called the album "outstanding" and a "fresh and immediate arena-rock triumph". The newspaper continued, "The sound isn't just bigger, it's transnational, yielding the kind of radiant, whip-smart rock album you seldom hear in this day and age."Billboard called Day & Age a "gamble" and said "if nothing else, this band keeps fans on their toes, and they're likely to buy in for another round."Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+, commenting on the albums' influences from Duran Duran, Bono and David Bowie and ultimately saying "Like Vegas itself, Day & Age sometimes leans toward sensory overload. But the pull of its showgirls-and-fool's-gold glory is undeniable." Stacey Anderson of Spin called it "a respectably vivacious dance-rock album." Michael Franco at PopMatters stated "The bulk of the album, though, sees the Killers doing what they do best: crafting new wave dance songs that sound like lost classics from the '80s."Drowned in Sound reviewer Andrzej Lukowski described the album as "breezy synth pop" and as a "simple, fun album".
The album has been certified Multi-Platinum or Platinum in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Spain. The album has also been certified Gold in the US, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, and Sweden. This makes Day & Age the Killers' most far reaching international album. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling over 200,000 copies in its first week. It reached number 6 in the United States, selling over 193,000 copies in its first week. It has since gone 4× Platinum in the United Kingdom selling 1,246,822 copies as of September 2012, and sold 774,000 copies in the United States.
The album sold more than 2,700,000 copies in the first year of its release. To date, Day & Age has sold over 3 million records worldwide.
The cover for the album is featured on the packaging for all 7th generation Apple iPod Classic units.