The Killers’ sixth studio album, Imploding the Mirage, was released on Friday, 21 August 2020, after an almost three-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. The album is 41 minutes 59 seconds in length and was released by Island Records in the United States and internationally by Virgin EMI. It is the band’s first album without lead guitarist, Dave Keuning, who has not been touring or recording with the Killers since 2017.
Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of the group, told USA Today that much of the album was inspired by his family’s move from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Utah. Brandon, his wife, Tana Mundkowsky, and their three sons had been living in Las Vegas since the rock band’s beginning.
Brandon said, “Most of this record is about me and my wife becoming eternal, and the question, ‘Can two become one?’ I wanted to capture the beauty of perseverance. If Wonderful Wonderful was about me going into some of the uglier sides of life, this one is more celebratory.”
On the album, Wonderful Wonderful, Brandon paid homage to his wife with the song, “Rut.” The music video created for the song depicts a young woman struggling with depression. Brandon told Newsweek that his wife has “a complex version of (post-traumatic stress disorder) from her childhood, and it’s her speaking.” According to Uproxx, a pop culture website, “Rut” chronicles Tana’s lifetime of depression from her childhood to adulthood. Brandon said, “It’s emotional and the only song I’ve had to sit down with her and play at the piano, just to make sure it was OK with her.”
The Telegraph reports that Imploding the Mirage features thundering drums and some impressive guests and is a “stadium rock on your stereo.” Pitchfork describes the album as “a marvelously absurd collection of synth-rock gems and arena anthems.” The Pitchfork further reports, “As tacky and bombastic as a Fourth of July celebration, Imploding the Mirage has more bangers than a Killers album should 16 years after their debut and without copping to ‘maturity.’ This band remains as absurd—marvelously so—as ever.” The Financial Times proclaims, “The band’s sixth studio album is full of sound and fury but is lyrically clunky. . .. Full of sound and fury that signify little, Imploding the Mirage is an empty vessel.” And, The Guardian exhorts, “. . .. the feeling that Imploding the Mirage is less than the sum of its parts persists long after it’s left you exhausted.”