Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about all my thoughts on the Killers’ sophomore album Sam’s Town, because I’ve been listening to the Killers a lot recently and I’m very into them at the moment. Onto the post!
Note- I’ve not included Enterlude or Exitlude because they’re not really full songs, but I actually really like them, which I do not tend to when artists include them. I suppose it’s just a testament to how good the Killers are!
Sam’s Town- up till starting prepping for this post, I’d only heard the live acoustic version of this and I love that, so I was very surprised to find I love the studio version even more. This song is, in the simplest terms, about what home is to you- for them it’s Sam’s Town, but it can be a place or a person or whatever you want. I think it’s got such a beautiful meaning, there are some amaizng vocals and the instrumentals are absolutely standout. There’s not a single part of them I don’t love- the synths are gorgeous and I love the guitars and drums.
When You Were Young- I bloody love this song, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that it’s still how the Killers end a lot of their live performances (Before the encore, that is). It’s about the expectations of love vs the reality, and I don’t know if I’m weird for this (Genius suggests I might be!) but I think it’s so lovely and romantic. My fave thing about this is very simple in that it’s the melody, but I do also need to give a mention to the guitars and the drums, especially the guitar solo. The guitar solos on this album are spectacular!
Bling (Confessions of a King)- I’ll be honest, Bling isn’t my fave. It’s about fear of failure and a lack of success. I do think it’s a pleasant enough listen, but I never remember any of the words and I often forget it exists at all. The only really memorable parts for me are the guitar riff (I think I’ve said before Dave is my fave part of the Killers and that’s not yet changed with this album), plus the bridge and the outro because of the vocals.
For Reasons Unknown- oh my God, why have I never heard this before? This song is so stunning, both musically and emotionally. It’s from the perspective of someone with Alzheimer’s, specifically Brandon’a grandmother in this case, and it’s just so heartbreaking. The choice of perspective is so clever and adds even more emotional impact, and the language choices back this up even further. The guitars here are just incredible as well- apparently both Mark and Dave played in this version and the results are just AMAZING.
Read My Mind- oh, the drum beats here are divine. As are the synths! Brandon’s voice just sounds so gorgeous too, and my beloved Dave provides a glorious guitar riff as we get a bit further in, because he’s amazing. His solo nearer the end is incredible as well. Not an all time fave, but such a good song!
Uncle Jonny- in news that will surprise no one, the guitar intro of this gives me absolute life, as does the ongoing riff. This is definitely the closest to the vibe of Hot Fuss so far (parts of it remind me so much of Jenny Was a Friend of Mine), so it’s not surprising at all that it’s one of my faves so far. Why do the Killers not play this anymore? I need more of it in my life please. Also, a fun fact: given what happened at Glastonbury, I half expected this song to be about Jonny Marr and how much Brandon looks up to him. It is very much not…
Bones- I’ve never heard a love song that manages to sound so creepy yet so sweet before. I do not like the weird creepy singing at the beginning, but when the drums and guitars kick in I start to remember why I like it again. The melody of the verses is so great, and I like the horns that kick in too. I do not like the continuation of the weird creepy singing, and I think it gets a bit overloaded just before the second chorus. The choruses are pretty weird, but also so earnest and nice, and I basically just feel conflicted about this song.
My List- ooh, I’m not keen on this if I’m honest. The only long intro to a song I remotely like is from a George Ezra song, and that’s actually interesting. This has a super long intro that just feels a bit like a waste of time. And even after that, I don’t feel like this really goes anywhere musically; although Brandon’s voice is great, he can’t carry it alone. It feels a little bit like a precursor to Human, melodically speaking, and I think I’ll just listen to that instead of this in future.
This River is Wild- YES YES YES. We’re back to business! This is such interesting storytelling of a strange story, which is one of my fave things the Killers do. The guitar riff is excellent, and I’m very into the drums, and Brandon’s voice sounds AMAZING here. And the melody is so catchy- this is 100% one I can see getting stuck in my head.
Why Do I Keep Counting?- my gripe with this is very similar to my issue with Everything Will Be Alright. It doesn’t feel much like a Killers song and I don’t think it’s super sonically cohesive with the rest of this album, though it does at least have good guitars. I’m not keen on Brandon’s vocals at a couple of points.
I’ll be honest, I don’t love this as much as Hot Fuss but I think it’s still got a lot of amazing songs, even though there are a couple I’m not into it. I can’t wait to do a post for Day and Age soon, because I already know I love quite a few of those songs! I’m currently thinking the Killers posts will end there for now, but I may end up doing Wonderful Wonderful and Battle Born too depending on what other music posts I end up doing…
Have you heard this album? What’s your favourite song from Sam’s Town? I’d really love to hear in the comments?