Album: The Killers: Sam's Town|
Street Date: October 3, 2006
Reviewed by: Christine
The Killers had a lot to live up to with their follow up to 2004's Hot Fuss. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical before listening to Sam's Town. However, it was unwarranted. This album, while not as musically tight as Hot Fuss, is wonderful in its own right. Lyrically, this album far surpasses its predecessor. It seems more real and universally relatable. I have to agree with Rolling Stone review of this album as showing the "real" Las Vegas, the one we never hear about or ever see. The Las Vegas of the natives there and the people who live and work the city. The Las Vegas that doesn't submit to all the glitz and glamour that city has to offer, but rather the Las Vegas that's just like any other town in America. While it's definitely different than Hot Fuss, it's still a Killers album. Their fans will be pleased with their effort and their conviction to stay true to who they are and what their music is about, and their new realism may attract a whole new group of people.
1. Sam's Town - This song starts off big. Big guitars, big bass, big drums. Perfect way to start off the album. Its a great intro into what this album is about: home. The absence from home and immersion into a world of glamourous and judgmental people still allows them to be okay with it. At the same time, with all this going on, its great to get back to your true self and your roots every now and then. The bridge at the end of the song really brings all the sentiments of this song together.
3. When You Were Young - Every girl in America can relate to this song. Every little girl has a dream of a man to sweep her off her feet and make everything in her life perfect and wonderful and alright. When she gets older, she realizes things just arent that simple. People arent perfect. Relationships arent perfect. The longer you wait for perfection, the more unhappy you will be. Its ok to settle for something slightly less perfect. Musically, this is the most "recognizable" as a Killers song. It could easily be on Hot Fuss, which is why it was such a great choice for the first single.
4. Bling (Confession of a King) - This song tricks you. It starts off very hard and sad and you expect it to be this depressing kind of song. Then about 20 seconds in, it starts to pick up. The drums get heavier and the guitars speed up. This song tells you its ok that life is hard, and its ok that you feel crappy about things. But its not ok to give up and throw everything away just because things are hard. The vocals scream passion more than any song on the album. There's conviction in his voice, and not only can you hear it, you can feel it.
5. For Reasons Unknown - Brandon is really trying to show he has something to prove on this track. He starts off talking about how destiny has made him hard, but as the song progresses he makes us see that its just life and life takes its toll on all of us. Musically, I think they couldve infused more bass, but overall a good song.
6. Read My Mind - Everyone has a time in their life when they dream big and want to break out of their small crappy town and do something meaningful. They feel they are bigger and better than whats there for them, that the world has so much to offer. Lyrically, this song will hit home for most anyone who dreamt of a life better than their own. Musically, its solid from beginning to end. It doesnt fall off or start out too soft or hard.
7. Uncle Johnny - I love the sound of this song. It starts off strong, and maintains that strength throughout the song. Its not my favorite lyrically, but the music really makes you feel the song whether you want to or not.
8. Bones - Very very very 80s sounding song. It totally belongs in a John Hughes film. The only think that makes it modern is Brandon's voice. If you took his voice out, you can believe this song is in the wrong decade. Having said that, it's still one of the more stronger songs on this album.
9. My List - This is the token heartwrenching love song. Its slow. Its sweet. Its powerful. It pretty much speaks for itself.
10. This River Is Wild - This is a fast paced uplifting song. Its basically a journey of a son through his father's eyes. Or even a teacher to a student. Just a song about taking what youve learned and taking on the world with it. Not one of the best on the album, but a solid track nonetheless.
11. Why Do I Keep Counting - Strong lyrics carry this song where the music just cant. Everyone feels like they are inadequate. Everyone gets lost in life and feels like they just cant make it on their own. They ask for help from anyone who can offer it. Once you realize its a combination of your own convictions and the help of others that get you through life, you'll prevail. Thats the message this song is sending. I dont feel the music is in sync with the feel of the song, its almost comical sounding. Its really the lyrics that save this song.
There are two bonus tracks on this album, "Where The White Boys Dance" and "All The Pretty Faces". Both are pretty odd in their own right. I think it was a wise choice to leave those songs off of the album officially. They really dont compliment the feel of the album. Both tracks seem more like the songs on Hot Fuss because they both contain elements of "dance rock." Without these tracks, its a solid album. Including these two throws it off completely.
Overall, this is a wonderful album. Personally, I prefer it over Hot Fuss, just because Im more lyrically driven. Lyrically, this is one of the best albums to come out in a long time. However, because its not as strong musically as their first album, I can't say its truly phenomenal.
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