Just to clear things out, I'm not a huge Killers fan. I liked a lot of the material on their first album though. When I heard this album I was pretty disappointed. It has its standout of course. But I noticed that the songs that do stand out for me are the ones that could've been on the first album. Brandon Flowers said that they were influenced by Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty on this album. I can see the Bruce Springsteen influences more than the Tom Petty influences.
"Sam's Town" is the opener. It doesn't sound like anything we've heard this band do before. At first I didn't like this song. I quite disliked it actually. Now after a few listens I've discovered that at best it's a slightly above average song.
"When You Were Young" is an obvious standout. It's very immediate. It sounds like it could've been on the first album.
"Bling (Confessions Of a King)" is another standout. Although the song title sucks, it's one of the better songs you're going to hear on the album.
"For Reasons Unknown" is my favorite song on the album. It's the "Mr. Brightside" of "Sam's Town". I don't know why I see it that way. It's just so catchy... I really think it should've been the second single (or the first, now that I think of it) instead of "Bones". It starts with a Strokes-esque verse produced to match the Killers' style. Then when you hear "that effect" in the bridge you start to notice how good this song is.
"Change My Mind" is also a pretty good song. I can see Chris Martin singing it actually. But don't worry, they haven't gone all Coldplay on us. And it's not cheesy or anything. It's one of the best songs on the album actually. It's very "synth-y"... Very Killers...
Now that I think of it, those 4 songs ("When You Were Young", "Bling", "For Reasons Unknown" and "Change My Mind") are my favorites on the album. That's pretty much the best part of the album. Cause after "Change My Mind" most of the material is mediocre.
"Uncle Johnny" is forgettable. I wish they used that choir (or whatever it is) more. Cause really, the last 30 seconds of the song are pretty good, thanks to the choir. There's just not enough of it to save the song though.
"Bones" starts with an awesome intro. But when the horns, or whatever they are, kick in the song is ruined. It just doesn't work... What were they thinking...
"My List" starts with a pretty cool intro too. But then the song starts you can't help but feel bored. The outro is also nice since it's exactly like the intro, still not enough to save the whole song though.
"This River Is Wild" and "Why Do I Keep Counting" are totally filler. Even though the former is better than the latter, neither of them is really memorable. The "Enterlude" and "Exitlude" tracks are okay. They're pretty useless, but they beat a lot of the stuff on the album. Though I'm sure if they were 4 minutes long they would've been just as bad... I think... maybe... whatever
So anyways, this was an okay effort by a band who could've done better. Oh well, it still has its moments. I just hope their next effort's better...