5.13.2008

The Killers: Sawdust

I felt sorry for The Killers when I listened to their third album, Sawdust. They had a wildly successful debut with Hot Fuss, but they got no love from "serious" music fans or critics. On Sam's Town, they tried to show how sophisticated and capital-m Mature they were, which left them somewhere between a second-rate Springsteen and a third-rate Queen. So when everything on Sawdust sounded like an attempt to recreate one of those two albums, I sighed a sad sigh and accepted the fact that The Killers were pretty much dead.

But then I read the liner notes, and I understood. These are songs that, for one reason or another, didn't make it onto either of the previous albums. These are the red-headed stepchildren. These are the remnants. Sawdust is, simply put, the sawdust.

Sawdust doesn't serve much purpose, but it does smell pretty good when you're sweeping it up off the floor. Sawdust doesn't serve much purpose either, but these songs sound pretty good for a bunch of rejects that were swept up off the recording studio floor.

Music: 2.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
This album is for fans. This is for people who love The Killers no matter what they do, and want more more MORE! Most of the songs aren't particularly noteworthy, and a few of them have some glaring flaws, but they're all perfectly listenable. There are a couple of tracks that stand out: the cover of Mel Tillis' "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" is a bit awkward but very enjoyable, and the alternate version of "Sam's Town" is better than the original.

Packaging: 2 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
I'm guessing the band had enough money to hire a real honest-to-God sculptor to create the log/arm on the cover, but something about the staging makes it look like cheesy Photoshop. The liner notes are generic, and contain nothing but basic song info, cute photos of the band, and a statement that "this album is dedicated to our fans." That's nice and all, but if The Killers really loved their fans, they wouldn't charge full price for a bunch of rare rejected songs.

Listen if you like: both of the previous Killers albums.

If it were food, it'd be: leftovers

9 comments:

The Mad Hatter said...

What is it with these horrible bands nowadays offering their half-eaten pilferings as albums? Granted, I hate The Killers, but it goes for everyone. Gorillaz? I mean, come on, do we have to have B and C side song collections after every new album? Just goes to show you where the music lies in the grand scheme of things -- right under the almighty dollar. Shame on the record companies; but shame on the band -- they shouldn't allow their half-finished casseroles, tasty or not, to be bartered about for mass consumption. (I think I need to listen to something of substance; I'm on a bummer of a trip lately.)

taotechuck said...

I do like The Killers, but I'm with you on the annoying trend of offering up half-baked crap and selling it as a "real" album.

You said in the David Sylvian post that you'd listened to The First Day, but you don't remember it. You may not like it, but it's got substance. Maybe you should give that one another shot.

Anonymous said...

The Killers are great! They are the most talented band out there today...they will be around for years to come my friends!

The Mad Hatter said...

Bah, Anonymous! Bah! Fie! And fuddledly-stick! And feremerangue! Talent is an overrated term!

taotechuck said...

Feremerangue? Is that like lemon meringue? Because I totally wouldn't equate this to lemon meringue, unless you're talking about the kind of lemon meringue pie that's sitting, crusty and half-eaten, in the display case of some dusty diner on the outskirts of town.

The Mad Hatter said...

It's worse! It's my heretofore unpurchased Killers discography!

Anonymous said...

You people must have no clue about talent!I doubt any of you in your wildest dreams could ever be as good as them!You jerks wouldnt have the nerve to get up on stage and sing.Watch what you say when you have no guts.

taotechuck said...

Normally I ignore comments like this, but I'm particularly amused by the way you use an anonymous comment to call me a coward. Thanks for the chuckle, anon!

Anonymous said...

haha you are the only one laughing