Posted by: Andy | April 25, 2008

albums I’m surprised I like: The Killers – Sam’s Town

Wow, that girl has a long face.

Anyway, what I was going to say was that this album bites so hard off 70s Springsteen (& the Jersey Shore sound in general) that I’m surprised the Boss can still walk. He must be sore at least.

So I was already biased going in by the heavy biting – you can’t avoid it. The thing is, I still like it. It’s still a good listen. I guess they managed to walk the fine line between heavy biting with innovation & crude aping. I’m not enough of a trained musical critic that I could point out the things in common in specific, but you’ll hear it if you listen. They bring just enough (and possibly a little more) to the table though that you can enjoy it as a Killers album and be pleasantly reminded of it’s all-too-obvious roots.

This shouldn’t be an issue right? Music does this all the time? Hell, I can’t count the # of Green Day apers that made it to the radio. I think the thing is, usually they are less obvious about it and can just get away with calling it an “influence”. This is very obvious. Maybe just because it’s been so long since I heard anyone doing anything in this vein? I’m actually thankful they did, it’s a great sound & theme combo and I’d be interested in seeing more bands taking their spin on it. I think The Hold Steady does to a much smaller degree (i.e. in the normal way), and I’m sure there are others as well.

So yeah, I didn’t even want to like it because I was only so-so on their previous effort, but they won me over with their…their…I don’t know, luck?



  1. I’m in the same boat as you. I wasn’t a fan of the Killers until this record, but I did like “Mr. Brightside.”
    I think I’m alone in not seeing the Springsteen connection though, apart from the soaring-vocal-pre-crescendo moments. That wiki page you cited makes the “Jersey Shore Sound” sound more like an attitude/theme than an actual sonic style, so I remain confused despite your best efforts. Anywho, “When We Were Young” is such a fabulous song I can even get by the terrible barely-in -tune falsetto background vocal part. A superbly composed song.

  2. I should add that “Uncle Johnny” is definitely the worst Killers song to date, and possibly the worst song on any album I got during whatever year this came out (last year?).

    Yeah, I had 2-3 hours sleep last night, so my explanatory powers are at their weakest.

    They ripped the “vibe” if you will…definitely pieces of sound, but also theme as well. Sure, themes are common anyway, but a merging of the two just sounds really noticeable to me.

  3. i love this album. yeah. full stop.


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