4/5 stars

Band hiatuses can be rough. Some end with the band’s lackluster reunion and a descent into irrelevance, and some don’t end at all. Luckily for fans of The Killers, they belong to a third, entirely different, category. After their brief two year hiatus, the band is back with its fourth studio album,Battle Born. With music that continues to straddle the line between Americana and Euro-rock, The Killers provide a unique synthesis of their multiple influences and prove yet again that they are a band to be reckoned with.

As an indie-rock band with a British pop influence, The Killers keep consistent in their musical styling with their latest album. While the casual listener may consider this boring, loyal fans will find exactly what they expect from the group — a solid guitar rock album.

The entire album has nostalgic overtones about life’s challenges being overcome, as well the trials that great and new loves face with time. In the debut single “Runaways,” lead singer Brandon Flowers belts out what seems to be an earnest love letter cataloging the evolution of a teenage crush to the mature and lived-in stuff of a marriage.

The Killers do manage to maintain the American rock attitude of the album through songs such as “Battle Born,” the album’s title track. Like most typical rock anthems, the song tells the story of someone who has been beaten down by life but has enough fight left to overcome life’s obstacles.

Another gem on Battle Born is “Prize Fighter.” With catchy lyrics and the all-too-familiar theme of a boy going after a girl out of his league, this song hearkens back to the idea of two young lovers who overcome high school stereotypes about compatible archetypes and end up together.

Out of the 12 songs on this album, none better captures the nostalgic theme than “Here with Me.” This number starts out like a slow-tempo ballad with heavy emphasis on the keyboard and continues with some elements of a well-done country song. But the core of the song is very much in true Killers’ fashion: bass-heavy rock music.

Overall, this album is great, but it is not the best Killers album to date (Sam’s Town takes that prize for me). For an established Killers fan, Battle Born represents the culmination of 10 years of both sound and lyrical growth. With grown-up themes such as time tested love and perseverance, Battle Born is a great reminder that American music has not been hijacked by pop princesses and the great American stage rock band lives on.

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