Album: The Killers, Day & Age, (Island)

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With the assistance of producer Stuart Price, Brandon Flowers & co have turned their backs on empty bluster and taken a few steps in the direction of brash, swaggering pop.

Not that 'Day & Age' doesn't have its overblown moments. "A Dustland Fairytale" seems to take place in a cactus desert where the streets have no name and "Neon Tiger" fails to live up to its slinky title. But, crucially, Price has steered the Killers into a much more fertile musical field. It's no 'Hot Fuss', but it's getting warm.

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Pick of the album: No-no-no-notorious: the Duran Duran-esque 'Joy Ride'