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Sam's Town

The Killers

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

The Killers have been whipsawed by the hype machine since the 2004 release of their debut, Hot Fuss, which sounded similar to the old new wave of Duran Duran and The Cure. This time, under the pressure of expectation, they go for a bigger, brighter sound that brings to mind more recent arena bands such as Oasis and Coldplay. In fact, Sam’s Town sounds like it was recorded in an arena. The pounding guitar riffs and swirling keyboards fill up every inch of space, leaving little room for subtlety or dynamics – which is partly the point, of course. This is a grandiose album, both musically and thematically, from the faux operatic backing vocals and horns of “Bones” to the ever-earnest vocals of Brandon Flowers to the synth strings that punctuate the choruses. They are clearly aiming for epic, with lyrics focused on various methods of escape, the liberating effects of cruising down the highway, weather metaphors, and the good/evil paradox of America that is reflected in Las Vegas, the band’s hometown. They may not hit the lofty heights they’re reaching for, but you can’t say they lack ambition.

Customer Reviews

Another A+ Album from the Killers!

Sam's Town, the Killers sophmore album, is just as good, if not BETTER than Hot Fuss. While it is true that their sound has "changed" and little bit, every band has to change. They can't just make Hot Fuss 2, then Hot Fuss 3, etc. Sam's Town is an EXCELLENT album, although saying it is the Best Album In The Past 20 years is a little steep. This albums definatly is the album of the year. Everyone should pick it up. Here is my rationg of the tracks Sam's Town- 10/10- Excellent Opener Enterlude - uh yeah, it's an enterlude When You Were Young - 10/10 - Great Song, Already a big success Bling (CoAK)- 7/10- This song is very well done, maybe not a hit, but it is really enjoyable. For Reasons Unknown 9/10- I LOVE this song, it is so amazing. The first time you hear it might be a little awkward, but it grows on you. I really really love this song. Read My Mind 10/10- This song is just pure genious Uncle Jonny - 7/10 - This song is pretty good too, the guitar riff is amazing, but it is sorta slow. Bones- 10/10- Soon to be their second single, this song is amazing beyoind belief My List- 9/10 - An AWESOME rock ballad, proboly my favorite ballad of all time. This River Is Wild- 10/10 - Holy crap where did this song come from? This song is AMAZING. It hits you right away, the most catchy lyrics ever! Why Do I Keep Counting?- 8/10- A great song about Brandon Flowers' fear of flying, a very catchy one indeed. Exitlude - umm it exits you. duh. So overall, Sam's Town blew me away, different than Hot Fuss? Yes. Better than Hot Fuss? It Could Very Well Be.

Quite a Disappointment.

Like most fans of the band, I'd been quite anxiously awaiting the release. If one could wear out a CD as you could with vinyl records, i'd be on CD copy #3. Hot Fuss was that good, and The Killers were masters of mixing synth pop of the 80's with a modern guitar rock sound... good songwriting, clever lyrics, and one catchy hook after the next. Unfortunately, Sam's Town has few of these things if any. Many have spoken of the band's influence of Springsteen. I'm not a fan of The Boss, and quite frankly could only name 3 of his songs under threat of death. Several reviewers have chosen to go track-by-track, mentioning the high points among the low ones... i'd find it hard to do this, as there's nothing i remember about any particular track. The only exception may be "When You Were Young"; it's not a great song, but merely one that i dont stare at the speakers with a feeling of shock and horror. If it were a B-side from Hot Fuss it might be acceptable, but being the best track on Sam's Town is not a very high plateau. The synth lines are gone, the melodies (if any) are buried under a wall of sound, the guitar is horribly processed (if at all), and the drums sound like they were miked from the next room. Basically, it ends up sounding like several other projects Flood has nearly ruined. Though NIN's and Curve's sounds might benefit somewhat from his tendancy to remove any element that stands out, The Killers have not survived this treatment. I'm left to wonder how many of these 5-star reviews are record company shills. Given that this release sounds NOTHING like the first, i'm amazed that fans of Hot Fuss have found Sam's Town to be an even bigger achievement.

An unexpected album

The Killers had the opportunity, after their massively successful first album, to profit heavily on an album replicating the essential pop elements of Hot Fuss. Instead they have presented a second album more representative of a third or forth; an album of a mature band trying to lead their fan base instead of catering to it. I can not say that I expected this album. The songs are both more complex than Hot Fuss (structure and lyrics) and more raw (harsh vocals and instrumentation.) Many people have likened this to a Springsteen album. Though the vocals are very forward and bare there is not much else that matches here. Springsteen's delivery is overtly emotional, while Flowers sings in a near emotional void reminiscent of Ric Ocasek. In fact much of this album sounds heavily influenced by The Cars driving new-wave/punk synthesis. My only disappointment is in the mix. The lows are too heavily weighted (as I discovered playing the CD on my low-value car stereo), and the high-mids are simply buried. When played using higher quality speakers or headphones (with some tweaking on the equalizer) the depth of the music comes through.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in Las Vegas, NV

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Few bands in the early 2000s rose so quickly to the forefront of pop music as the Killers. With a mix of '80s-styled synth pop and fashionista charm, the band's street-smart debut, Hot Fuss, became one of 2004's biggest releases, spawning four singles and catapulting the group — particularly their dandyish, 22-year-old frontman, Brandon Flowers — into the international spotlight. Hot Fuss reveled in the garish glitz of the band's native Las Vegas, spinning tales of androgynous girlfriends...
Full Bio