REVIEWED BY CHUCK ARNOLD
I'm sick of all my judges, so scared of letting me shine," sings frontman Brandon Flowers on the title-track opener of The Killers' ambitious second album. It would seem that even after the multiplatinum success of their 2004 debut, Hot Fuss—it produced hits like "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr. Brightside," and made them the national poster boys for neo-new wave—these dudes have something to prove. And, in the high-rolling spirit of their hometown of Las Vegas, they raise the stakes considerably here, going for a bigger, more expansive sound that ventures into the arena-rock realm of acts like U2, Queen and Bruce Springsteen. The Boss, in particular, is a major influence on Sam's Town. "When You Were Young," the awesome, anthemic first single, is a direct homage to "Born to Run," the guitars cranked up as they go "burning down the highway skyline." While the Killers flex their newfound muscle and pump up the grandeur, they haven't completely deserted neo-new wave: Melancholy-streaked cuts like "For Reasons Unknown" still show their eyeliner running.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "When You Were Young"