The Killers – Sam’s Town

The Killers“Bring on the backlash” sang the Arcitc Monkey on the title track of their EP, released a few months ago. With that statement, the canny Northerners were predicting the inevitable backlash that will no doubt await them soon. Cynicism or just realism? Let’s face it, the music press have an attention span of a goldfish loaded up on Sunny D. Most bands don’t have the opportunity of even recording a second album before being dismissed as being “uncool”, a crime worse than actually being shit. Right now there’s a rumble about the new album from the Killers: various co-workers of mine have been unimpressed with what they’ve heard. The music press have made a lot of the supposed influence of Bruce Springsteen on their latest album “Sam’s Town”, and what’s worse, in recent promo photos, the band are sporting “gasp” beards!

However, all are minor prattlings; whilst the Killer’s debut “Hot Fuss” was slightly-retro synthpop, the real key to it’s success was the anthemic tunes the band had in abundance. “Mr Brightside”, “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine”, “Somebody Told Me” were all brilliant songs. “Sam’s Town” takes on a more, guitar heavy approach; the opening title track bursts into life with a recognisiable synth line, but it’s Dave Keuning’s guitar that really anchors the track. It’s clear straight from the off that the band are going for more of a heartfelt approach to music. Hot Fuss was an album that was characterised for me by an aloofness; that’s been replaced with heartfelt yearning and it makes a big difference. “When You Were Young” is pleading and honest and “Bling” reminds me of the Blue Nile. “For Reasons Unknown” and “Uncle Johnny” have a dirtier sound, but that’s backed up by slower tracks like “Read My Mind” and “My List”

Overall I’d have to say that Sam’s Town is maybe a more consistent record than Hot Fuss. The first 6 tracks on that album were excellant, but it tailed off after that. Just like the Rapture’s latest, this is a more consistent album, that doesn’t reach the highs of the last album but is still a rewarding listen.

The Killers – When You Were Young (introduced by Axl Rose!)

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  1. I’ve heard a few of the songs from Sam’s Town & have been a bit disappointed. None of the songs are up there with Mr Brightside, Somebody Told Me, Smile Like You Mean It etc… Not bad but not great.

  2. I listened to Hot Fuss again & I can see what you mean about the album tailing off but the last 5 songs aren’t bad, just not as good as the first 6.




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