- SECOND BEST
KILLERS DISMISS CRITICS: 'I KNOW HOW GOOD IT IS'
By MARY HUHN
New York post
October 1, 2006 -- THE Killers' Brandon Flowers insists he
understands the concept of the sophomore jinx - it just doesn't
apply to him.
In the face of early critical spankings of the Las Vegas band's
second album "Sam's Town," Flowers not only defends the new
Springsteen-influenced sound and the songs, but defiantly says this
second disc is better than the hits-loaded debut "Hot Fuss," which
sold 5 million copies worldwide.
Like-minded bands such as Franz Ferdinand and the Strokes
experienced the same critical bash of their sophomore albums, but
Flowers doesn't see the similarity.
"Their second records weren't as good as their first records. Our
record is, and that's the difference," he swaggers. "No matter what
anybody writes. You listen to an album one time and you write a
piece of s--- review ... I've lived with the album, and I know how
good it is, and it's gonna prevail. There's no doubt in my mind.
It's not a cocky thing, I just know how good these songs are. It
will do better than 'Hot Fuss.'"
While the album has some flashes of the group's pop past, you know
you're in for something completely different during the somewhat
cheesy "Enterlude" - as Flowers sings "We hope you enjoy your stay"
against a little piano. Not only are the Killers introducing a
concept album, the foursome is selling more epic songs than the
infectious gems of "Hot Fuss."
The biggest blow came last week, when the disc only received two out
of five stars from Rolling Stone, pulverizing the band by saying
"When You Were Young" is the single because "it's the closest thing
to a good song on the album," and the band "leaves no pompous arena
cliche untweaked in their quest to rewrite 'Born to Run.'"
But if music buyers are like the fans at a recent secret show at
Webster Hall, the Killers may have nothing to worry about.
The mixed date-night crowd scream-sang to all the new songs, and
during the 2004 hit "Somebody Told Me," the female bartenders
climbed up onto the bar Hogs and Heifers-style and shook their
The spring break-like excitement continued when the theatrical
Flowers, who has traded his signature eyeliner for a moustache and
bolo tie, kicked in with the new hit single. "That show was one of
one of our standout New York moments," he says. "It was a lot better
for a New York crowd. They [usually] don't show much enthusiasm."
So why did the band change direction, swapping Morrissey for
Springsteen? Flowers says he couldn't help it - the Boss opened his
eyes and ears.
"I fell in love - just like you do with music," he says. "I didn't
know about 21-year-old Bruce Springsteen. I thought I was finished
with loving something like this. I grew up being a fanatic about
Morrissey, Bowie and New Order, but that faded over the years.
"I don't feel like we drifted too far with the sound," he adds. "I
think we're better and stronger, and I think this album is better
and stronger. People are constantly changing as you get older. We
changed the way we look a little bit, but we didn't think it would
cause such an uproar. I'm a big fan of David Bowie and The Beatles,
and they were able to change."
"Sam's Town" is named after an unremarkable hotel/casino in Las
Vegas, where, despite rumors to the contrary, the band never played.
"We didn't mean for [the title] to have any specific connection, but
I do like it that places us somewhere and in some time like 'Abbey
Road' does for The Beatles or 'Vauxhall' for Morrissey," says
Despite the big success of the first album, back in Vegas the
25-year-old, who got married last year, doesn't live in a mansion -
just a house, not far from his childhood home. "I live like a normal
person," he says.
Although Flowers dismisses his critics, he can't help but address
their issues. "To say I grew facial hair so people will take me more
seriously is just ridiculous," he says. "I've never been able to
grow it before, and I can now and I like it."
And no matter what the outcome, he feels the Killers deserve points
Acknowledging that the Strokes' debut disc inspired "Hot Fuss,"
Flowers goes on to question their follow-up. "The Strokes did
something too similar to the first album, and we didn't want to fall
into that, so we changed and now we're getting butchered for
Critics, he says, "wrote bad things about [our] first album, and it
sold 5 million records. We make a little more realistic record, and
they say we're being something that we're not. We can't do anything
right for the critics. "