• Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: Oct 3, 2006
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Crucially, Sam's Town sounds like a complete collection, with a far better strike rate than its predecessor.
  2. Mojo
    80
    An action-packed blockbuster. [Oct 2006, p.104]
  3. 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.
  4. "Sam's Town" is a sophisticated sonic metropolis.
  5. The Killers are still as flashy, unintentionally funny, and flagrantly affected as ever.
  6. 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.
  7. Q Magazine
    80
    A much better record than its predecessor. [Oct 2006, p.112]
  8. Sam's Town works well as a cohesive album, despite its delusions of grandeur.
  9. An album considerably richer than "Hot Fuss" and far more worthy of mainstream hugeness.
  10. The highs aren't as high on "Sam's Town," but it's a better album overall.
  11. Taken as a body of work it is certainly more consistent than Hot Fuss.
  12. With those sharp synth lines, and an interesting sense of melody, the Killers have made a good album.
  13. Those who don't enter Sam's Town with inflated expectations will find it's a pretty fun place to spend some time.
  14. The Killers overextend themselves grabbing for the heartland's heartstrings.
  15. Filter
    62
    Flowers would do better to leave the theatrics back at Caesar's Palace. [#22, p.96]
  16. Uncut
    60
    The problem... is that size seems to be used as an excuse for the lack of musical ideas. [Nov 2006, p.102]
  17. Spin
    60
    Sam's Town is basically Hot Fuss with bigger, spanglier guitars and an all-round lack of restraint. [Oct 2006, p.93]
  18. 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.
  19. Loose, sloppy playing and power hooks.
  20. The Killers album is, whisper it, pretty good in places.
  21. 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.
  22. [It] offers only occasional flashbacks to the seedy glamour of the debut, instead settling on lightweight MOR clichés.
  23. 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.
  24. Ultimately, they don't come across as unbearably pretentious so much as just really, really misguided.
  25. 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.
  26. Urb
    50
    Sam's Town is bloated with verses that helplessly swipe at capturing something, anything, significantly American. [Oct 2006, p.129]
  27. With too much empty bluster and not enough decent songs, Sam's Town can only be regarded as a step back for The Killers.
  28. On Sam's Town they seem like they're trying to make a big statement, except they have nothing to say.
  29. Alternative Press
    40
    A cluttered, derivative mess. [Dec 2006, p.200]
  30. 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.
  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.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 333 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 333
  1. Sep 30, 2010
    10
    Great follow up too the great Hot Fuss , The Killers certainly dont do things by halfs and the ambition and passion of this album isGreat 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. PC
    Nov 19, 2006
    9
    I must admit, when I first listened to this album I thought it was utter crap. It was too loud and sounded like they were trying so hard to I must admit, when I first listened to this album I thought it was utter crap. It was too loud and sounded like they were trying so hard to be great that they crammed everything they counld into these tracks. And then somewhere along listening to the album all the different melodies and sounds seperated into something I could actually listen to. To be honest, I dont really like any recent ablums, I'm more of a classic rock guy listening to artsits like ELP, Yes, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. This album echoes the sounds of those great bands that today's young have forgotten about. How many people today know that Meatloaf was something other than a food? Sam's Town is a very musically complicated disc. It takes many listens to actually see some of the brilliance behind some of the tracks. It just takes some time to see that brilliance, something critics dont have time to do. Hence the bad reviews Full Review »
  3. Sep 21, 2021
    10
    Sporting deeply poignant, poetic lyrics as well as bombastic, richly textured soundscapes swirling with passion and emotion, The Killers'Sporting deeply poignant, poetic lyrics as well as bombastic, richly textured soundscapes swirling with passion and emotion, The Killers' first foray into Springsteen-style heartland rock has unquestionably been built upon and surpassed in the 15 years since its release but nevertheless remains one of their most singularly captivating and compelling records as well as a modern-day "Born to Run" that easily still stands among the best rock albums of the 21st century.

    Choice Cuts: "Sam's Town," "When You Were Young," "Read My Mind," "This River is Wild"
    Full Review »