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The Killers: Sawdust

By Azeem Banatwalla | December 4, 2007

Split Magazine: The KillersThe Killers’ aptly-titled new album is “nothing new”, in more ways than one.

‘Sawdust’. That’s probably the best name Mr. Flowers & Co. could have given this album, for it’s just a truckload of the residue that accompanied their two bestselling albums.

The album is, in essence, a compilation of their previously unreleased songs that were part of the many singles that the band released over the last five years, with a few covers thrown in here, and a handful of re-releases there.

It starts off, however, with their solitary “new” song featuring Lou Reed, titled “Tranquilize”, which is pretty much the best song on the CD. The lyrical content is a far cry from the usual, “I’m a depressed, helpless guy that can’t get the chick he wants”, that we’ve got used to over the years; the lyrics are a bit darker, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Something to look forward to in their next “real” album

There are three covers on this album; “Shadowplay” (Joy Division), “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits), and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” (First Edition); all done decently.

The same, however, can’t be said about a vast majority of the other tracks. “Leave the Bourbon On the Shelf”, “Under the Gun”, “Move Away” and “Sweet Talk” are pretty much the only ones worth mention. The rest leave a lot to be desired, with some songs such as “Where the White Boys Dance” sounding more like nursery rhymes than rock. The Abbey Road re-recording of “Sam’s Town” was refreshing, but really didn’t serve to make up for much. It just seems as though I’ve heard all of that same stuff one time too many. It’s all a bit too predictable.

If I was disappointed by the time I was halfway through the album, the final track just added to that. I haven’t a clue what The Killers are playing at by absolutely RUINING arguably their best ever song, and a personal favourite of mine, in “Mr. Brightside” and turning it into a ridiculous, pipe-organ-ridden, ten minute long, disco-esque remix.

All in all, there are at best six or seven tracks on this album out of eighteen that are just about worth a listen, and it’s really pretty obvious why these songs didn’t make either “Sam’s Town” or “Hot Fuss”.

In my opinion, “Sawdust” is an album that’s come maybe three or four albums premature, and it’s beyond me as to why The Killers, having released just the two albums, would opt to release what is essentially, a collector’s album so soon. Perhaps that’s just what fame and popularity does to you at times, and really, Flowers & Co. would be kidding themselves if they thought that this album was ever going to be a bestseller. It’s mediocre, and that’s about the best I can say.


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