4 Out Of 5 Stars
The Killers are attention hounds. Especially lead singer Brandon Flowers. From every over-emoted vocal, to all the Springsteenian attempts at epic teenaged dramas, and from guitarist Dave Keuning's stadium ready guitars, The Killers playtheir music to a bog coliseum. They even shot for an REO Speedwagon ballad on "Here With Me" (hey, the opening line "Wheels Are Turning" was the title to an REO album.) So if you're a bit put off by grandiose overreaching, "Battle Born" probably isn't an album for you.
On the other hand, I consider "Sam's Town" to be an amazing album, and "Battle Born" is more in that vein than the art poppish "Day and Age." And just like "Sam's Town," the results are either gloriously grand ("Runaways") or a touch too much ("Miss Atomic Bomb"). That's only because The Killers refuse to let ambition hold them back, so amidst the big USA songs the heed from NJ via NV to the 80's synths in "Flesh and Bone" or "The Rising Tide," "Battle Born" wears its Las Vegas heart on its snazzy sleeve. You'll find few better rock albums this year than "Battle Born."