Review Summary: I hope that you enjoy your stay
It's official, Brandon Flowers is the master of reinvention.
was simply brilliant, because it was different. The Killers in 2004 had single-handedly changed the direction of popular music, clawing it away from the embarrassing brand of childish sing-along pop that had lyrics that meant nothing in particular. With brilliant lyrics, inspirational vocals and let's not forget the polished acoustics from Keuning, Vanucci and Stoermer. The Killers had emerged as the hottest property in indie rock n roll.
However two years later after a spell in the US The killers have re-emerged to their adoring British fans, and not without substantial expectancy. The word from across the pond was that The Killers had made something equally as special and equally as different from the usual. And after months of waiting with bated breath the single that preceded Sam's Town, "When you were Young". The Killers had sent a message to the indie community-we're back!
Sam's Town has delivered but not in the way most expected, myself included. The image has changed, as has the music, but the ever so slight adaptation has only served to improve the band and avoid the trap of falling into the brand of playing it safe and being "samey".
Every song adds something positive to the album except, in my humble opinion "Enterlude". Quite the point of including this has flown over my head however they have comprised an album that seems like a gig, a performance in itself, well okay it’s not quite as good as front-row tickets but you get the gist.
They have blended together some fast-paced and heavy songs such as "Uncle Jonny" with some songs that have slow, purposeful lyrics and a more emotional effect, "Read my mind" being an example. Flowers has adapted to the more modern music scene and has been backed up by the excellent instrumentals. Each song is instantly memorable for a crescendo of instrumentals that invariable culminate in the best part of each song. This aspect is fairly consistent throughout but because of the sheer contrasts in pace, lyrics and even slight variations in musical style the songs have avoided being too similar but each has The Killers trademark firmly imprinted upon it. The best song? Now that is a challenge as each song is so difficult to compare. This one is probably down to personal preference. I think that "For reasons Unknown" is a culmination of all that is right about the killers. A memorable chorus, strong lyrics, excellent guitar and an added synth-pop aspect have all been combined to make an excellent song. However "Bones", "Why do I keep counting?" and "Uncle Jonny" are all capable of holding their own in particular.
And don't worry all you die-hard fans that may be quivering in fearful anticipation that this album is too different as it still holds that edge that can only be created by The Killers. They remain as one of, if not the premier indie band of the time and you will certainly not be disappointed.
The only thing that Sam's Town lacks is one song capable of contending with Mr. Brightside. Flowers has claimed that "Bones" may be the one, but unfortunately no song is distinguished enough to contend with The Killers first real masterpiece. However this could only be expected, such is the popularity of the Hot Fuss release.
Months after hearing the album I still find myself singing some of the lyrics to myself, so brilliant and prominent as they are. And I have also accepted the change in image. Gone is the make-up and glamour, they have been replaced by a more rough and ready image, brimming with masculinity but still maintaining that thoughtful and emotional edge. And by the way Brandon, that's a nice moustache! They have skilfully avoided the "second-album syndrome" by producing a reassuringly different album. As difficult as hot fuss was to contend with they have pulled it off. And don't be surprised to see arenas world-wide sold out as The Killers come to town. Thankfully we have been cordially invited to visit Sam's town, and I for one have thoroughly enjoyed my stay.