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4.0 out of 5 stars A superb sophomore effort
Wow! Eight months after its release this cd continues to absolutely blow me away. Twelve songs of irresistible non-stop energy, clever changes of pace, forceful yet sensitive vocals, endless hooks and lyrics that beckon the listener to sing along, loudly. This may not be "one of the best albums of the past twenty years" as Brandon Flowers proclaimed. However, it is...
Published on April 28, 2007 by Philip Bradshaw

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nobody Ever Had a Dream Round Here
Of all the retro eighties synth-pop bands that have been trying to resurrect the sound in recent years, The Killers were the only ones that made songs that were listenable. The key to their success was they treaded lightly on the synthesizer sound while Brandon Flowers sang grandiose lyrics which where at heart kind of quirky. Some something happened between that first...
Published on October 3, 2006 by Scooter McGavin


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4.0 out of 5 stars A superb sophomore effort, April 28, 2007
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This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
Wow! Eight months after its release this cd continues to absolutely blow me away. Twelve songs of irresistible non-stop energy, clever changes of pace, forceful yet sensitive vocals, endless hooks and lyrics that beckon the listener to sing along, loudly. This may not be "one of the best albums of the past twenty years" as Brandon Flowers proclaimed. However, it is without doubt one of the best releases of 2006. One of the hallmarks of a classic record is that it stands up to repeated spins. For me, Sam's Town accomplishes this in spades. In fact, the more I become familiar with these songs the more I enjoy them.

On this record one terrific song follows immediately on the heels of another. There are twelve tracks. The cd runs for just 44.14, once again proving that length is far less important than quality. Some of my favourite recent cds are about the same length as a traditional LP record (the second Arctic Monkeys is 37.34). As a die hard rock and roller I don't need filler and I don't want cuttings from the studio floor - tunes that would never previously have seen the light of day!

Superficially this record reveals more American influences than the debut. There are the obvious vocal and lyrically similarities to Bruce Springsteen. Flowers has mentioned in interviews how he has "rediscovered America". However, when all is said and done, what I hear are the same influences as on Hot Fuss - Queen, Bowie, and 80's Britmusic. Anyway, the band's sources of inspiration are, when all is said and done, irrelevant. This is a superb sophomore effort. I reserve five stars for the best of the best - Revolver, for example. Sam's Town is a worthy four and a half star effort. Will the Killers be able to make it a hat-trick? We'll see.
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124 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its Flaws Are the Right Ones, October 6, 2006
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This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
When I first played this album I wasn't quite sure what to think. Brandon Flowers' voice sounds markedly thinner and more waver-y at points than it does on Hot Fuss. The immediate grandeur of the material, bookmarked as it is with the ornate, sometimes frilly intro / outtro combination, sets up this sophomore followup for polarizing reactions from the band's fans.

There were only one or two immediate tunes that caught me. I nervously listened to the album again. And a third time. And it is awesome. I do have some misgivings about the way it is recorded. (Unlike the band's stunning debut, there are some songs on Sam's Town that I will outright skip--they try too hard or just don't work for me. And there are some noticeable pitch problems with the vocals--baffling on a major-label, Flood-produced album.) But yet. It has not left my car stereo. There is some great, inspired work here. Stuff that draws me into its energetic, wistful, stylized vibe as skillfully as anything on Hot Fuss. Stuff that deserves repeated exploration. Stuff that rekindles my excitement about music.

This album is like a second date: you realize that your new crush has flaws you hadn't noticed the first time around, but you're just that much more endeared. And flustered. And optimistic for the future.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different Isn't Always Bad., October 17, 2006
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
The Killers' debut album, "Hot Fuss," was such a phenomenon that it was nearly impossible to follow-up with something as good. Well, the Killers have tried and delivered "Sam's Town." For their second album, the foursome goes for a more rock-oriented approach, leaving behind much of the glam/disco undertones of the previous album. Is it better? Judge for yourself. One thing is for sure, though: It's different.

Sounds like: Queen, Bruce Springsteen and the Cars rolled into one.

The Good:

- They don't try to repeat themselves here. There are moments that somewhat callback to the first album, but for the most part, they took a real risk.

- The production and musicianship are much stronger than before.

- The album doesn't peter out on the second half like "Hot Fuss" did.

The Bad:

- Unfortunately, nothing here really leaves quite the impression that the strongest tracks on "Hot Fuss" did.

Hits: "When You Were Young," "For Reasons Unknown," "This River Is Wild," and "Bones."

Misses: "Uncle Johnny" a song that sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn't seem to go anywhere.

Future: "Sam's Town" most likely won't be the massive hit it's predecessor was, but at the very least, the Killers have proven they aren't just a flash in the pan or a one-trick pony.

Personally: There's nothing here that gives me the chills that half of "Hot Fuss" did, which is surprising. But the album is still good to listen too, especially where the first album is starting to sound a bit stale at this point.

Best Listened To When: "Hot Fuss" goes cold.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I did not like the killers, but then..., August 8, 2007
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
I have to admit I was incredibly hesitant when purchasing this album. I had heard the singles from Hot Fuss and I was unimpressed. They were just another generic piece of whatever music happened to be selling at the time. Poppy, catchy, fun, but completely lacking any kind of depth that would make them worth listening to more than once. Then I was thrown a 180. I heard the first single, When You Were Young, and something about it grabbed me. Clearly the same band, but something about that song was sounding different then everything else I had heard by them. Then I heard another song off the album, I can't remember which, and I was surprised to find that I was really digging it. It wasn't long before I decided I might actually have to buy this album, and this would be no routine purchase, contemporary music is not my thing. The most recently released album I had purchased before this was Weezer's Green album, based entirely off the strength of the music they had released in the 90s, and it was a huge let down for me.

I started with the first three tracks, and they were good. I was surprised by how good they were, but I really wasn't liking the beginning of that 4th track, and I put the album away for a while. After a few weeks I put the album on again, for another go, and this time I actually listened to the whole thing. I was amazed. The fourth track isn't all that satisfying when it starts out, but it quickly develops into a very enjoyable song. I was surprised to find most of the songs had a very nice build up in a similar fashion. When I was finished I was convinced I had heard one of the best albums released in a very very long time. I jumped online to see what kinds of praise this album had received. Were the Killers everyone's new favorite band?

No, not at all. Not even close. I was taken off guard when I discovered that the album was not well received at all, not even by their own fans, despite the huge growth in between the former album and the current. Everything about the album showed drastic improvement and maturity. These weren't songs written with the intention of getting two or three good singles, and there was no filler here. This was a real, cohesive album, like bands used to make in the glory days of music.

It's not hard to see why this album was dismissed so quickly by the general public. It's the same thing that happened with the Pet Sounds album by the Beach Boys back in the 60s. The music had grown far too complex for the pop loving fan base they had begun with, and anyone that actually would have enjoyed the brilliance in the music would never believe the group was capable of creating it. I have a feeling Sam's Town is destined to the same fate. It will disappear into obscurity, with only a small group of loving fans to keep the memory alive.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally..................., December 15, 2009
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
Almost 3 years ago, Rolling Stone reviewed this album and gave it 2 stars out of a possible 5. Today it was announced by no other than Rolling Stone that this is the most underated album of the decade. Finally some validation for The Killers.

If you slept on this album to begin with because every music publication was trashing it, please let this be a notice to go pick it up.

If you listened to the album once and said "this doesn't sound like Hot Fuss", please let this be a notice to start listening to this album again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but great music, February 22, 2007
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
Ive read a ot of reviews putting down the vocals. Give me a break, in my opinion neither Bob Dylan or Neil Young or a lot of other popular musicians can hit very many notes either, and look at their success. I like music this gives emotions and this album does. I like musicians who let their emotions take control of the song and the vocals rather than standing in a studio trying to hit every note perfectly like a robot. I would be able to pick out flower's vocals in any song and i think that says volumes about his talent, he doesn't sound like everyone else. Musically this album rocks. the guitar, the bass, the drums, everything is played superbly and with heart. the loops and hooks are awesome and genuine, something you hardly find in songs these days. Each song has it's own personality and life, and they are all different. there are only 2 or 3 albums where i listen to it from beginning to end, and this is one too. the enterlude and exitlude make it more like a storybook than an album of different songs, which almost makes it necessary to listen to from song 1 to the end to get the full affect. and just so you know i never listened to hot fuss until i bought sam's town, and it's ok , but sam's town is better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart, not head, January 13, 2008
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
I'm writing this not as a critic, not as a Killers fan, but as a music lover. I'd only heard "Mr. Brightside" off "Hot Fuzz" and was really moved by it; the lyrics matched my experience during a tumultuous time in my life. In fact, I never bought "Hot Fuzz" for that very reason; that song matched my experience a little TOO closely.

It just so happens that last fall found me in a very similar situation. As I've done at other difficult times, I turned to music to help soothe my feelings and to help make sense of what had happened. I picked up a copy of "Sam's Town" (along with CDs from several other various artists) from the local public library and gave it a spin. And once again, I was blown away. I'm a sucker for a catchy tune, and the Killers are nothing if not catchy. But the lyrics--God!--were what really struck me. Feeling the pain of broken dreams, being "sick of all my judges" ("Sam's Town"); remembering the anticipatory thrill of seeing someone I loved ("I pull up to the front of your driveway, magic soaking my spine" from "Read My Mind"); realizing that one of the main aspects of truly loving someone else is wishing for THEIR success ("I don't shine if you don't shine" from the same song); wishing desperately for one more chance to prove myself to someone I loved but had let down ("My List"); and who knows how many other similar insights--this album summed them all up in a beautiful, messy package.

I acknowledge that musically, "Sam's Town" is a little high on bombast--it's more Wagner than Mozart--but man oh man, is that a breath of fresh air. It's certainly what I needed. To me, the bombast said, "Don't be afraid of your passion. If you're gonna fail, at least fail BIG." ("Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah. It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you." [Rumi])

So sure, maybe I filtered this CD through my somewhat altered perception during a difficult time, but isn't that what we all do? It's only a matter of degree. At its best, music can serve as a safe way of experiencing and expressing difficult emotions; through some sort of alchemy, it can help transform them into something even more precious. Along with the support of true friends, this album done that for me over the past month and a half.

Which brings me to Brandon Flowers's apparently often-ridiculed statement about this album: Is it one of the best albums of the last 20 years? For what it's done for me, I'd say it is. It's helped give me hope during a very difficult time, more so than any other record I can think of. It's quickly become one of my favorites of all time, and is among only a few that I can imagine turning to again and again to remind me of where I've been, where I am and where I hope to be one day.

Finally, for the people who gave "Sam's Town" lousy reviews or who couldn't see past the bombast, or who worried that the singer wasn't quite hitting the notes to their satisfaction, I have only one question: Are you really so robotic and clinical? Come on, live a little. Live a little BIGGER. Remember what's most important to you; remember what it's like to lose it. And then ask yourself one more question: Am I really that much different?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly Flawless., April 15, 2007
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
Nice albulm. I picked up hot fuss on an impulse because one of my friends was always singing somebody told me. The first time I listened to it only a couple songs stood out to me. So I listened to it again cause I figured I spent 15 bucks on this thing. I'm getting my money's worth. To make a long story short I loved it. So the day Sam's Town came out I went to the store and bought it. My first listen through I was looking for those songs that you know that you will hear on the radio eventually. Nothing really stood out to me besides When we were young until I got to Exitlude and I thought this one aint to bad. Then I let it cycle through again and was I hooked. It only leaves my car now when I want to listen to it in my room.

I hear people saying that they rushed this albulm and that they need to take more time then 2 years to make a new albulm. I say Bull. Have they ever checked out how quickly the Beatles nocked out albums? They even recorded their debut albulm in about 10 hours. Please Plese Me and WIth the Beatles were both in 63, Plus the Magical Mystery Tour came out the same year as the legedary Sgt. Peppers, with the White Albulm coming soon after. Plus you have Rubber Soul which came out Dec, 65 and Revolver in Aug, 66. Did I mention 4 of those are in the Rolling Stone top 500 albulms of all time.

Now I'm not comparing The Killers to The Beatles by any means, that just isn't a good argument to me.

Sam's Town start off the albulm and is one of my favorates on the cd. Constantly changing but flowing smoothly. Flowers has some nice raw vocals on this song.

Enterlude and Exitlude are both nice sing alongs thought they are both pretty short they hold that albulm together as book ends.

When We were young is the first single and the one that I am sure many people bought the albulm. Some compare to Mr. Brightside but really has not a whole lot on common except they're both Killers songs. This is much more guitar driven the Brightside. Great track.

Bling seems to me to be inluenced a lot by U2. Flowers voice has a haunting effect to me. Kind of like Lennon on "A Day In the Life." I love the bridge on this song. It just kinds of repeats higher and higher but just soars to a climax before ending with a mellow outro.

For Reasons unknown starts off reminding me of My Charona (which I am sure I didin't spell right).

Read My Mind is another great track seems to get a lot of radio play. At least when I've been listening to it. Makes me think of my home town. "On the corner of main street... can you read my mind." I love the sound in the background during the begging and end of the song that sounds like the wind blowing through a tunnel. Well written song with some very catchy lyrics.

This is the only song that I have any gripe with, though it is still one of my favorate. . "When everybod else refrained, Uncle Johnny did cocaine." Who saw that rhyme coming. Just sticks out a little to much for me I guess, but the rest of the song is well crafted. One of my favorate things about the band is when the others due some vocals together. It's just got this sing a long catchiness going on.

Bones is yet another great song. It reminds me more of Hot Fuss then any of the others on the albulm. Great verses and an awesome chorus. Ussually I am not a big fan of saxes in most music out side of blues but it fits in so nicely with Synths. Flowers sounds great during the bridge when there arn't any drums or brass. Stands out at just the right point of the albulm.

My List has some coolest synth work that I have heard in a long time. This is the slowest song on the albulm. But shows a depth that is more evident here then anywhere else on the cd.

The river is wild is another of my favorates on the cd because of Flower's vocals. The song just has this energy that I like. Fast slow fast slow. Great Lyrics and bridge.

My favorate is Why do I Keep counting. It is just so diverse in sound but all fits together seemlessly. Love this one.

This albulm deffinenly shows a growth and maturity of the band in all the right directions. Flowers has nearly mastered his songwriting skills. Their sound changed yet it is not different and if you loved the first one, than this one is a great move in their progression and is definently worth picking. I see a bright future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the first time...., March 1, 2007
By 
R. Roberson (Chattanooga, TN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
This is not the last Killers CD....It's better. Unfortunately it takes listening to it 3 or 4 times to really appreciate it. It gets better every time. The lyrics are more creative and the instrumentals are amazing. If you only give it once or twice ang give up on it, then you'll miss one of the best albums of the year.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album.....no surprise here, October 3, 2006
By 
Christina (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
Since I love 80's new wave music, it's no surpise that I'm a huge fan of The Killers. They combine rock and new wave music while giving it a modern twist perfectly. I thought Hot Fuss was more unique, yet this album is by no means of bad taste. The whole album is great, "When You Were Young", "Bling", and "Read My Mind" being some of my favorites. And in response to someone's accusation that The Killers are talentless and can't perform live, I saw one of their "secret shows" in Vegas, and they couldn't have sounded better. Brandon has an impeccable voice, and sounds amazing in person (he's also easy on the eyes). Don't let the sounds of the synthesizer fool you into thinking they're a "studio-produced" band. These guys are awesome and I know they'll be around for years to come.
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Sam's Town
Sam's Town by The Killers (Audio CD - 2006)
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