Friday, November 17, 2006
Album Review : The Killers - Sam's Town
This is not the 'best British band not from Britain." This is the Killers from Las Vegas, Nevada. The Killers first album Hot Fuss was a smash hit both in the UK and US (and Canada). Everybody who has been within 3 feet of a radio in the past year has surely heard Mr. Brightside or All These Things I Have Done played a gazillion times. Well Sam's Town is not Hot Fuss Part 2. Sam's Town is not a dancing in the nightclubs album like Hot Fuss. It would have been easy for the Killers to put out a carbon copy of Hot Fuss but instead try something new. This album isn't saturated with synthesiser. Here is a track by track rating of the album.
Sam's Town - Well the album does start with the classic Killers synthesiser sound but that doesn't last too long. A solid opening track filled with American imagery. Sam's Town is a place in Las Vegas where the Killers grew up. The song is a memoir to this place.
Key lyric: Red white and blue upon a birthday cake, And my brother, he was born on the fourth of the July...and that's all
Enterlude - Just a short clip welcoming you to Sam's Town wishing an enjoyable stay.
When You Were Young - The first single off the album, probably the 'safest' track on the album. The if-all-else-fails-we-have-one-good-song track. It is a good song none the less. The song goes along with the whole American Dream when you were young idea.
Key lyric: You sit there in your heartache Waiting on some beautiful boy to To save you from your old ways
Bling (Confession of a King) - The cheesiest name you could possibly give a song I think. Bling? Come on boys. Regardless of the dumb name this is my favourite song off the album. Perhaps because it has U2 circa the Unforgettable Fire written all over it. This song is also littered with southwestern US themes such as the land of the free ride, the desert, and the ideas of getting rich in the west.
Key lyric: When I offer you survival, You say it's hard enough to live
For Reasons Unknown - Brandon Flowers vocals really shine on this song. Singing the verses of the song it sounds as if he is sticking his hands out and grabbing at your heart and clenching with tears coming down his cheak. And the sad thing is he doesn't know why.
Key lyric: But my heart, it don't beat, it don't beat the way it used to.
Read My Mind - Another song about a variety of characters with not much going for them but they still have the American Dream. Musically it has more U2-like guitar riffs. These guys obviosuly learned lots from touring with the big boys in Europe last year.
Key lyric: The teenage queen, the loaded gun; The drop dead dream, the Chosen One
Uncle Johnny - I tend to skip over this song.
Key lyric: Levitation aint your only friend
Bones - The "Come with me" intro sung by a choir (featured throughout the song) is sort of weird but inviting. Of coarse the Killers couldn't go through an album without a 'fun love' song, songs that made up Hot Fuss. My favourite part of the song is when Brandon declares "Never had a lover, never had soul. Never had a good time, never got gold." On Hot Fuss he was boldly stating that he had soul but was not a soldier.
My List - This song took me a long time to get used to but now I love it. More honest lyrics and strong vocals from Brandon. The woman ( I assume) wailing at the end is a nice touch, sort of reminiscent of the vocals from Great Gig in the Sky. (For those who don't know, that is a classic Pink Floyd song)
key lyric: And your prayers they're not fables
This River is Wild - Musically I like the song but I don't really get it.
key lyric: You better run for the hills before they burn
Why Do I Keep Counting? - It seems like on of those worrying Keane - Hopes & Fears type songs. The buildup takes a little while but once the song is in full swing it is a great track.
key lyric: If I only knew the answer I wouldn't be bothering you.
Exitlude - A nice way to end the album. Basically thanking you for taking a journey through Sam's Towns. It highlights the themes of the album; the pain, the dreams, the desert and the rain, and asks not to worry about them, it'll all get worked out.
key lyric: We've seen it all bonfires of trust flash floods of pain It doesn't really matter don't you worry it'll all work out
Sam's Town - 4
Enterlude - 3
When You Were Young - 5
Bling (Confession of a King) - 5
For Reasons Unknown - 4
Read My Mind - 3.5
Uncle Jonny - 1
Bones - 4
My List - 3.5
This River is Wild - 3
Why Do I Keep Counting - 3.5
Exitlude - 4
Sam's Town - 3.5/5