Fall Albums we're excited for
Entertainment weekly

''Sam's Town'' Oct. 3

''Sam's Town is it,'' boasts Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, talking about his band's eagerly awaited second album. ''It's gonna be the one that keeps rock & roll afloat. And I can say that 'til the cows come home, and it can sound as cocky as you want.''

As usual, the words coming out of Flowers' mouth don't disappoint; this is a man, after all, who has become famous for dropping self-aggrandizing bon mots in the press. But when his actual voice crackles over a long-distance line, Flowers comes off less like an obnoxious young rock star and more like a pained but earnest Boy Scout who's been accused of earning his merit badges dishonestly.

That boyish enthusiasm is especially pronounced when Flowers starts raving about his band's newest inspiration: Bruce Springsteen. ''People make fun of Born in the U.S.A. and [his] look, but I love all of it,'' he says. ''There's a song from his first album called 'Lost in the Flood' that's just...I mean, it should be essential listening for people. I'm 25 years old, I had no idea that existed, and I'm just really grateful now that I got to get into it.''

As you might have guessed, the Las Vegas-bred quartet have decided to distance themselves from the new-wave-inspired sound found on their 5 million-selling debut, 2004's Hot Fuss. ''On the first album I think we adopted a look that wasn't necessarily ours,'' says Flowers. ''It was a fascination with the glamour and the glitz. On this album we've taken a step in the direction of where we're from, and embraced, you know, the Wild West.''

The foursome spent an intense six months in a hometown studio with producers Alan Moulder and Flood (known for their work with the Smashing Pumpkins, U2, and Nine Inch Nails). ''I was really behind on my lyrics,'' says Flowers. ''But, like, 'Bones' was written two years ago, and 'Read My Mind' was being written up until the last day in the studio, so there was a lot of different things going on.''

Now Flowers has to wait and see how fans of the Killers will react to their Boss new sound. Not that Mr. Confidence will admit to anything like second-album jitters. ''So many people cower down and put their tail between their legs, because of all the negativity that surrounds a band for their second album,'' he says. ''But we're just back swinging. Because, I mean, why not? It's our job.''