The Killers

Sams Town

Written by: TL on 10/11/2006 00:28:39

Back in 2004 some guys from Las Vegas obviously had a bit too much desert sun, and decided to prove that Americans could do disco flavoured brit-pop just as good as any Englishman. Five-million sold albums later, more than a considerable amount of people lost faith in the otherwise widespread belief that The Killers were indeed insane. Now, two years later, the band is back with a brand new concept and an attempt to surpass their debut's success. Before we get to the subject of how well they do at that, we will however just dwell on what I meant by "brand new concept".

Okay, okay, okay, so "brand new" might be a bit exaggerated because the dense americana-flavour the new material is drenched in isn't exactly a reinvention of the wheel, since it's kinda the same stuff artists like for instance Bruce Springsteen has had success with for years and years. Gone are the disco-beats and changed have the synth effects we were used to on "Hot Fuss". Back then, both those elements (as well as others) were arranged as central elements that would make the songs characteristic. On the new record, those same elements (as well as others) are now further in the background, strengthening the mood rather than setting it. Instead of adding character to the songs it is now merely working to reinforce the mood already set by the songs themselves. Obviously this puts more pressure on the songwriting capabilities of the band, but as if out trying to prove themselves on yet another "Mission Impossible", The Killers merely raise the bar for themselves, successfully creating an album filled with songs that are completely their own. Songs that will without doubt stick around in your head, and more deservedly so than some of the overly catchy stuff we're used to from other bands these days. Tracks like opener "Sam's Town", first single "When You Where Young" and "For Reasons Unknown" shoot right up in the desert night sky, and almost reach the height of the instant classic "Mr. Brightside" from the old album. Lyrics are very emotional, and fans of that kind of thing will soon find themselves singing along to the lines "and my lips, they don't kiss, they don't kiss the way they used to, and my eyes don't recognize you no more" from "For Reasons Unknown" and of course Brandan Flowers' distinctive melancholic vocal style doesn't exactly take anything away from this impression.

All things considered, The Killers have done a 'style-hop' and been able to nail it spot on. It is my opinion, that this is a record that is a lot more homogenous than the previous ones, as the compositions seem to have more depth and longevity in them, than earlier. It isn't exactly original, and it isn't exactly underground, but somehow I still find it hard to find any direct resemblances to any current artists at least. In effect of that, The Killers strike me as a band that has once again proven, that they're are entirely their own and that, when you can dish out quality rock songs by the dozen like they can, having a sound that's 'different' or 'in' isn't really on the top of your list of worries.

8

Download: Sam's Town, When You Were Young, For Reasons Unknown
For the fans of: Morrisey, Bruce Springsteen, The Arcade Fire, Saybia
Listen: MySpace

Release date 03.10.2006
Island Records

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