By Ashley Emert
I am going to be honest here: it had been a long day and I was incredibly sleepy as I was listening to this album. Even though I was falling asleep with my headphones on, I still found myself bobbing my head to the music (and, no, I was not just nodding off). The Killers’ new release, Sam’s Town, is yet another effort that gets me dancing when I am at my most tired.
The first (and title) track gets the album started off right with an epic beginning. There is an “enterlude” after “Sam’s Town” that has Brandon Flowers singing that the band hopes the listener enjoys their stay. The enterlude at the beginning and “exitlude” at the end of the album have a Beatles feel to them, along the same vein of “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
“When You Were Young” is the first single from the album and is a very nostalgic song, talking about childhood ideals for love. The most interesting line in the song is, “He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus.” This random religious imagery makes another appearance when Flowers also sings about the devil in the same song.
It always fascinates me when the most lyrically depressing songs on an album are the most dance-able. Just reading the lyrics, “My heart don’t beat the way it used to and my eyes don’t recognize you no more” might make someone think that the song would be slow and depressing. “For Reasons Unknown,” the song that contains those lyrics, is actually one of the most upbeat-sounding songs on the album.
The beginning of “Bones” is a bit startling — it starts off with a choir forcefully singing, “Come with me.” Thinking that this was going to be another song infused with religious references, I was surprised to hear, “Don’t you wanna swim with me, don’t you wanna feel my skin on your skin?” Oh, Mr. Flowers, but we hardly know each other.
There is a change from the lustful tone of “Bones” when the album gets to “This River is Wild.” Flowers sings about staying up all night to watch the “clouds fall from the sky” with his love. Although it has some romantic lyrics, there is still a bitter side to it when he sings, “I never did get along with everybody else.”
On Hot Fuss, their last release, the Killers used a chorus of people in the background to add a few more layers to their songs. This added facet gives “Why Do I Keep Counting?” more of a rallying cry than one man lamenting about lost love. These background singers act as the hands that pick up their friend.
The last track on the album, the exitlude, makes me feel like I actually experienced some of these situations with the band. I feel like he is singing right to me when he sings, “Regrettably the time has come to send you on your way.” I am happy that I can go through this experience again, however, by popping in this danceable, sad lyric-filled album.