Written by Kat Manos
The Killers Return After 5 Years With Triumphant, Funky Disco Track “The Man”
Well, Victims and fans of The Killers — the wait is finally over.
After the solid but critically-lukewarm 2012 release of Battle Born, The Killers are back with their first non-Christmas release since 2013’s “Shot At The Night.” And boy, does this new track demand your attention.
“The Man” — released on June 14th, produced by the renowned Jacknife Lee, and lead single from the band’s upcoming album Wonderful Wonderful — is a disco jam ripe with funky basslines, dance-y synths and yes, even a cash register “ch-ching!” Keeping in line with The Killers’ tendency to tonally shift sound from album to album, “The Man” feels freshly plucked from 2008’s slickly-produced Day & Age, and, more specifically, echoes that album’s groovy cut “Joy Ride.”
Unlike the two previous leading singles “Human” and “Runaways,” “The Man” is rye with fresh, addictive rhythms and a pop-y singalong chorus that doesn’t leave you asking, “Did he say ‘dancer’ or ‘denser’? (For the record, Brandon Flowers has confirmed repeatedly that the lyrics in “Human” are “Are we human, or are we dancer?” .. so please stop asking.)
When “The Man” declares, “I’m the man, come round / no-no-nothing can break, no-nothing can break me down […] I got news for you baby / I’m the man,” that power-punch of confidence is anything but subtle. Brandon Flowers admits that the song references the so-called arrogance and high-mindedness he was so accused of during the The Killers’ debut Hot Fuss, but, in this context, it’s nothing but fun.
By the time the bridge hits, sweet harmonies, striking guitar chords, and even a David Bowie proclamation of “Fame!” wins you over. Reminiscent of both classic Bowie and Arcade Fire’s ABBA-inspired single “Everything Now,” “The Man” embraces the disco beats and self-congratulatory celebration. It’s evident that Brandon Flowers was inspired by the success of his last solo album The Desired Effect, which was similarly and decidedly a youthful pop forray guided by Ariel Rechtshaid, who’s most known for his work with Vampire Weekend, Lorde, and Adele.
If this single is any indication of where the next Killers’ album is headed, then expect a dose of shimmer and justifiable confidence from a band who can easily sell out arenas and headline festivals without releasing new material for five years.
Who’s the man? The Killers are, just in case anyone forgot.