The Killers latest release Tranquilize is a reworked session track from their Sams Town LP, as well as collaboration with rock ‘n’ legend Lou Reed.
Tranquilize is taken from the bands forthcoming B-sides and rarities LP Sawdust, which is set for release on November 12th. The LP, already received a vast amount of coverage and press excitement will also notably include a cover of Joy Division’s Shadowplay from Anton Corbijn’s ‘Control’ movie and ‘Move Away’ from Spiderman 3. A cover of Kenny Rogers & the First Edition’s ‘Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town’ will also be included.
As for Tranquilize itself, well, is it any good?
The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers reckons so! The moustached one can be quoted as saying “It’s a song that really should’ve been on Sams Town”. We were thrilled with being able to work with Lou Reed, the song was calling for a duet and his voice was just right. The sentiment of the song is very him, there’s a desperation to it. It’s one of our more depressing songs, but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel”.
A desperate, depressing and somewhat sentimental song from the The Killers, who’d have guessed it!
Sinister from the outset, ‘Tranquilize’s intro strongly echoes Velvet Undergrounds ’Venus in Furs’ with its own purring and swagger-some sound. The dynamics of the song never seem to reach the grandiose peaks they perhaps should, too polished and restrained in both its construct and delivery. The dual vocals work well though Flower’s soaring vocal never lifts off to the dizzy heights we know it is capable of, which is a shame because it could’ve competently combated Lou Reed’s expectedly dry and deadpan contribution more efficiently.
The drums don’t crash half as hard as they could whilst the guitars don’t pierce or make their presence felt as fully as they could.
Emotive moments reminiscent of Queen can be heard here and there, lying just beyond the simplistically exquisite, guiding acoustic guitar and as for the inclusion of an unnerving chapter that’s surely supposed to be enhanced by a cheesy kiddy choral input, well it just smacks of gimmickry, although they do admittedly distract the ear from the mumbling Reed vocal accompanying it.
That said, as a whole, the song works well, escalating and gathering urgency where needed as it conjures tragedy laden images and emotions akin to those previously summoned by any other Killers track.
Reed fits in well, as was certainly predicted by most I’m sure but ultimately, Tranquilize represents an opportunity wasted. To record a merely great song when an epic song was on the books, it’s tragic really. So there you have it, Tranquilize is just great!
Keep an eye out for another TK charity single in December, the superbly titled ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’, the follow up to last year’s ‘A Great Big Sled’ which raised over $100,000 for the RED charity.