The Killers’ Second Effort Proves Innovative, Unique
In their brand new album, Sam’s Town, The Killers revitalize their popular sound but also adopt their contemporaries’ lyrical ambitiousness.
A full two years after the release of their multi-platinum debut Hot Fuss, their follow-up Sam’s Town borrows from bands like She Wants Revenge without sacrificing its glitzy originality. The result is a darker, edgier compilation that shows skillful maturation, thematic drive and far more cohesion than was put into the sporadic array included on their first release.
While few tracks have the catchiness of “Somebody Told Me,” this is easily forgiven because of truly fantastic anthems like “For Reasons Unknown” and “Bones.”
Epics such as “This River Is Wild,” show that this band is way too smart to take themselves seriously. The most impressive song is the guitar-heavy “Uncle Jonny,” which showcases vocalist Brandon Flower’s anti-Brit pop passion.
A bubblegum feel emerges in the later tracks, reminiscent of “Smile Like You Mean It,” that works as wonderfully as it did in their debut.
Most importantly, the whole package is extremely well presented. The sound flows flawlessly from start to finish, masterfully encased between “Enterlude” and “Exitlude,” and has an intriguing casino theme.
The influence of the band’s heroes, U2 and The Cure, is still audible in their essentially optimistic lyrics.
“Progressively, we all defend the role we play,” opens the final track, which ends eerily with a fading, muffled chant. For those who are skeptical after a first listen to this album, be sure to give it another chance, as many tracks grow on you significantly.
Lacking the melodic genius that made “Andy, You’re a Star” the highlight of Hot Fuss, Sam’s Town is still a stellar achievement and will satisfy fans who have been eagerly awaiting its delayed release.