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The Killers, ‘Runaways’ – Song Review


The wait for the new music from the Killers is over. The Las Vegas band, whose last album was 2008’s ‘Day and Age,’ won’t put out their fourth record, ‘Battle Born’ until the fall, but the first single, ‘Runaways’ has been released today (July 10).

Beginning with some keyboards and an acoustic guitar, ‘Runaways’ continues the Killers’ fascination with small-town Americana that was so evident on 2006’s ‘Sam’s Town.’ Frontman Brandon Flowers is an excellent voice in telling the story of a teenage love that led to a shotgun wedding and is threatening to fall apart years later. You can easily hear echoes of Bruce Springsteen‘s ‘Racing in the Street’ and ‘The River’ in its theme and especially the car imagery in the final verse.

‘Runaways’ was written in 2009 and became a touchstone for the rest of ‘Battle Born.’ “‘Runaways’ was rootsy and American, and it threw me for a curve,” Flowers told KROQ’s ‘The Kevin and Bean Show‘. “I knew it was a powerful song. But when it came time to make the album, there was an understanding the four of us had that we were gonna do what we’re good at. The Killers write a specific kind of song, and we’re not gonna shy away from it. So ‘Runaways’ became a kind of launching pad.”

For both better and worse, ‘Runaways’ sounds like a more polished version of any one of the Gaslight Anthem’s best songs, with synthesizers replacing the wall of electric guitars. It has all the strong narrative and impassioned, anthemic qualities but lacks the raw energy to send it over the top.

Listen to the Killers, ‘Runaways’

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7 out of 10 rating

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