Sam's Town - The Killers

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. Crucially, Sam's Town sounds like a complete collection, with a far better strike rate than its predecessor.
  2. The Killers are still as flashy, unintentionally funny, and flagrantly affected as ever.
  3. 80
    An action-packed blockbuster. [Oct 2006, p.104]
  4. But even if the music doesn't really work, it's hard not to listen to it in slack-jawed wonderment, since there's never been a record quite like it -- it's nothing but wrong-headed dreams, it's all pomp but no glamour, it's clichés sung as if they were myths.
  5. A much better record than its predecessor. [Oct 2006, p.112]
  6. The album doesn't lend Flowers the gravitas he apparently yearns for, but it does prove that few are better at irrepressible pop hooks and fist-pumping choruses.
  7. "Sam's Town" is a sophisticated sonic metropolis.
  8. An album considerably richer than "Hot Fuss" and far more worthy of mainstream hugeness.
  9. Taken as a body of work it is certainly more consistent than Hot Fuss.
  10. Sam's Town works well as a cohesive album, despite its delusions of grandeur.
  11. With those sharp synth lines, and an interesting sense of melody, the Killers have made a good album.
  12. The highs aren't as high on "Sam's Town," but it's a better album overall.
  13. The Killers overextend themselves grabbing for the heartland's heartstrings.
  14. Those who don't enter Sam's Town with inflated expectations will find it's a pretty fun place to spend some time.
  15. 62
    Flowers would do better to leave the theatrics back at Caesar's Palace. [#22, p.96]
  16. The Killers album is, whisper it, pretty good in places.
  17. 60
    The problem... is that size seems to be used as an excuse for the lack of musical ideas. [Nov 2006, p.102]
  18. 60
    The problem... is that size seems to be used as an excuse for the lack of musical ideas. [Nov 2006, p.102]
  19. 60
    Sam's Town is basically Hot Fuss with bigger, spanglier guitars and an all-round lack of restraint. [Oct 2006, p.93]
  20. Loose, sloppy playing and power hooks.
  21. The Killers may have grown a heart for Sam's Town, but they also grew even bigger egos, and it's unlikely that the album's bombast and self-importance will convert any new fans.
  22. Not fully realizing where their strengths and weaknesses lie makes Sam's Town, despite the drastic makeover, roughly equivalent to Hot Fuss, a mediocre album surrounding a few towering singles.
  23. [It] offers only occasional flashbacks to the seedy glamour of the debut, instead settling on lightweight MOR clichés.
  24. Whatever Sam’s Town’s scant merits, the album reminds artists to be more careful about their role models—and to avoid Bono’s phone calls.
  25. Ultimately, they don't come across as unbearably pretentious so much as just really, really misguided.
  26. 50
    Sam's Town is bloated with verses that helplessly swipe at capturing something, anything, significantly American. [Oct 2006, p.129]
  27. With Sam's Town, they've removed the glopped-on Goth eyeliner, sprouted scruffy outlaw beards, and traded in urbane decadence for windswept super-romanticism. Bye-bye, Duran Duran; hello, Simple Minds.
  28. On Sam's Town they seem like they're trying to make a big statement, except they have nothing to say.
  29. A cluttered, derivative mess. [Dec 2006, p.200]
  30. With too much empty bluster and not enough decent songs, Sam's Town can only be regarded as a step back for The Killers.
  31. Of course it is good to be ambitious. Of course the Killers needed to update their sound, given that the 80’s revival is fading away. But their new bombast is a classic case of a young band overreaching to assert its Significance.
  32. Sam’s Town is so riddled with hackneyed clichés, pandering melodrama, and lazy songwriting, that we keep wondering just what gimmick Flowers will thrust upon us next in a desperate effort to hold our attention.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 268 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 177
  1. Sep 30, 2010
    Great follow up too the great Hot Fuss , The Killers certainly dont do things by halfs and the ambition and passion of this album is infectious , my favourite tracks are Bling and This River is Wild the Enterlude / Exitlude are a really nice touch and overall this album feels like a journey rather than just a series of (very good) songs with a common theme like Hot Fuss Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2013
    Definitely the most underrated Killers album to date. When people think back to this album many will only remember the single "When You Were Young", but songs like "For Reasons Unknown" and "Bones" suggest that this album is much more full than you remembered. Full Review »
  3. Aug 22, 2013
    [4.6] The Killers have a bad habit of losing interest in their own music, which doesn't help the experience of the listener. Sam's Town doesn't do anything interesting with a genre that is seriously worn out. Full Review »