The Killers have been breaking new ground and tweaking their sound with every album they release, and their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful is no exception. The 10-song project features electronic overtones not rendered fully in years past and modern drum beats that call back to frontman Brandon Flowers’ solo album The Desired Effect and the glamor pop of Sam’s Town. The album itself is one to be cherished because of Flowers’ impeccable vocal performance. One of the best songs to blend melodic synth tones with the smooth styling of Flowers’ vocal range is “Rut.” His lyrics tap into raw emotions from his personal experiences that are also universal to anyone who has ever met or known someone battling depression. “I’m just in a rut/ I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up,” he sings over echoed synth and piano production.
The song tells the story of Flowers’ wife Tana Mundkowsky’s depression. “‘She has a complex version of [post-traumatic stress disorder] from her childhood, and it’s her speaking,’ … ‘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,’” Flowers told newsweek. The song opens with a synth fueled vocoder before transitioning to articulated chords that accent the looping rhythms of the drum pad. The song deals with being in a depressive state with the misunderstanding that many people with depression or mental illness face on a daily basis.
I’m just in a rut/ I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up
Tana wants to get better, and we hear that through this song as she asks for patience from loved ones. The song’s climatic chord progression personifies Tana’s refusal to give into her illness — “I’ll climb and I’ll climb/ I’ll climb and I’ll climb/ I’ll climb and I’ll climb” Flowers sings.
This song’s message is what makes it special. It will be remembered for the love and fortitude that Tana shows during the difficult times in her life. “Don’t give up on me,” Flowers croons. The message reminds us is to not give up on loved ones when they need you the most and to have patience with them through not only the bad, but also the good.