Under Review: The Killers – Sawdust

In a recent Billboard interview, Brandon Flowers explained that the songs on Sawdust would be mostly unfamiliar to American listeners’ ears, despite the fact that almost all of the songs had been previously released. More than just a standard ‘B-Sides and Rarities’ collection, Sawdust tells the story of a band that is undergoing a mature makeover. While the classic Killers shouted, synth-laden tunes are quite prevalent, it’s the more unexpected takes on songs that are the highlights of this compendium. Kicking off with a new song, the dirge-y “Tranquilize”, Flowers trades vocals with the inimitable Lou Reed. Though the kids who declared that they “got soul” but aren’t “soldier[s]” back in 2004 might appreciate the duet as much as the world enjoyed Reed’s Metal Machine Music (or the countrified cover of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition‘s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town”, for that matter), this doesn’t seem to be much of an issue to the boys from Las Vegas. A few songs that were contributed to movie soundtracks follow, including a re-recorded version of “Move Away” and a delightfully haunting take on Joy Division‘s “Shadowplay”. I may be a bit biased identifying my favorite song on the album as the cover of Dire Straits‘ “Romeo And Juliet”, since it is a favorite song of mine anyway. But fear not, there are plenty of unmistakable Killers moments to go around. From the thumping bass of Sam’s Town leftover “Where The White Boys Dance” to the nautical hidden track “Questions With The Captain”, there really is no stopping The Killers. And look, I went a whole review without mentioning Brandon Flowers’ moustache!

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~ by E. on November 20, 2007.

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