by The KillersThe Killers


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Biding time at a juncture when they don't necessarily need to, the Killers released the odds-n-sods collection Sawdust in November 2007, a mere 13 months after their second album, Sam's Town. If the title suggests that the group is digging further into a preposterous fixation on faux Americana, this grab bag of B-sides, new songs, covers, stray tracks, and re-recordings feels more like a sop to the fans who found the Springsteen worship hard to stomach. There's not as much Boss here but the ghost of The Joshua Tree still lingers, particularly in the clatter of the echoing Edge guitars, but that's married to the Killers' studied new wave moves, which is a better fit for that sweeping sound anyway. Better fit doesn't necessarily mean a perfect fit, however -- the return to the Killers' stylish throb only emphasizes their scattershot songwriting, where they can get elements right but they can't quite tie it all together. Tellingly, the best moments are leftovers from Hot Fuss -- whether it's the cool glam groove of the leftover "Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf" or "The Ballad of Michael Valentine," which does the cod-Americana better than Sam's Town -- but too much of the newer stuff clatters around pointlessly, all pomp and no circumstance. This goes double for the directionless Lou Reed duet "Tranquilize," which plays as if Bowie decided to have Lou sing on Tonight, then it goes triple for a stupifyingly silly "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," where the Killers seem like kids in cowboy hats even more than they did when they were kicking around the desert outskirts of Vegas. Covers don't treat the Killers well at all, as they reveal how hammy Brandon Flowers is at his core (swapping Mark Knopfler's sly, dry delivery for Flowers' community theater bluster robs "Romeo and Juliet" of its delicate beauty). When Flowers is in his natural setting, supported by glistening waves of keyboards and guitars that ring like synths, that ridiculous theatricality can be a bit of a guilty pleasure, and Sawdust does indeed contain some moments of grand pomp, but its scattershot nature works against the band as it winds up emphasizing the lingering question from Sam's Town, that the Killers have a hell of a lot of ideas but they just don't know what the hell to do with them.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/13/2007
Label: Island
UPC: 0602517495753
catalogNumber: 001022602
Rank: 81678

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Killers   Primary Artist
Lou Reed   Guitar,Vocals
Brandon Flowers   Group Member
Mark Stoermer   Group Member
Ronnie Vannucci   Group Member
Tamara Robinson   Background Vocals
Andy Savours   Guitar
Ted Sablay   Synthesizer,Piano

Technical Credits

Mel Tillis   Composer
Graham Bonnet   Engineer
Mark Gray   Engineer
Ian Curtis   Composer
Peter Hook   Composer
Mark Knopfler   Composer
Alan Moulder   Producer,Engineer
Andy West   Art Direction,Photo Illustration
Stephen Morris   Composer
Bernard Sumner   Composer
Doug Joswick   Package Production
Stuart Price   Producer,Engineer
Rupert Cobb   Engineer
Killers   Composer
TJ Doherty   Engineer
Brandon Flowers   Composer
David Keuning   Composer
Mark Stoermer   Composer
Will Brierre   Engineer
Corlene Byrd   Engineer
Dave Stedronsky   Engineer
Andy Savours   Engineer
Jeffrey Saltzman   Producer,Engineer
Max Dingel   Engineer

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