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The Killers’ Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness

The Killers are a band that sonically emigrated from New York City back to their hometown of Las Vegas over their 15-year career. Upon arrival on the scene in 2004 with the gender-bending club drama “Somebody Told Me,” the quintet got lumped in with Big Apple brands such as Interpol. Front man Brandon Flowers had a pretty-boy cool and an Ian Curtis baritone that turned him into a poster boy for disco punk. Tracks like “Mr. Brightside” reveled in ironic optimism that was all the rage during the George W. Bush and Myspace era.

Yet 2004’s Hot Fuss was a smokescreen for the Killers’ true selves. On subsequent studio albums Sam’s Town, Day & Age and Battle Born, the Nevadans became worshipful of the glitz and heat of the Las Vegas Strip. Flowers began to rely more on a warbling tenor than on emulating gothic heroes such as Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy. The Killers strived to be the Bruce Springsteen of the Southwest — making the gaudy, unforgiving city “A Dustland Fairytale,” as one Day & Age song describes.

Who are the Killers now, at this stage in their career? Was it wrong of them to abandon the dance-floor regalia of Hot Fuss so soon? Or are they a sub-genre unto themselves as the Kings of Bling in a desert that’s also home to fellow rock dandies Panic! at the Disco? Time will tell, as Flowers and bassist Mark Stoermer have both embarked on solo careers, even as they continue to record and tour as a group. For now, let’s revisit the Killers catalog and see which album triumphs over the others.

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