Judging by the Boss-like quivers and gravitas-filled sentiments on Sam's Town, Killers vocalist Brandon Flowers wants desperately to be Bruce Springsteen. It's admirable that Flowers and company want to be taken seriously as musicians and lyricists on their sophomore album, but who asked them to be our moral compass? The best Killers tracks from 2004's Hot Fuss were the zippy new-wave beatfests full of ambiguous poetry about boyfriends and girlfriends, love and sex. When the band attempts to be deep on Town, it comes across as forced grandeur. Lyrics like "Don't you wanna feel my bones on your bones?" are about as sexy as a root canal, while others, such as "So I ran with the devil/Left a trail of excuses/Like a stone on the water/The elements decide my fate," are cribbed straight from Bono 101. Paradoxically, though, these megalomaniacal delusions redeem Town and make it far superior to Fuss in almost every way. Strong melodies and memorable hooks are the rule rather than the exception, and the keyboards are better integrated, making the Killers seem less new-wave and more muscular.
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