Killers use caution describing albums

A third album from the band is likely next fall.



The first thing you should know about The Killers' lead singer Brandon Flowers is that he's extremely confident.

However, whether justified or not, this self-worth came across as blatant hubris roughly a year ago when the band released "Sam's Town," its highly anticipated follow-up to the group's multiplatinum 2004 debut, "Hot Fuss." Before the disc's release, Flowers set the bar high by not only describing the effort as a Bruce Springsteen-like epic release but also going on the record saying it would be one of the best albums of the past 20 years.

Not surprisingly, if Flowers could turn the clock back a year, he would in a heartbeat.

"I never would have mentioned obviously that I was listening to Bruce [Springsteen]," said Flowers, calling from Belfast, Ireland. "And I never said that this album was some homage or some huge new direction. I never said that.

"That's just something people ran with. And that's one thing that's kind of a shame, because it kind of overshadowed some of the good songs on this album. But I don't regret saying how good that it is or anything like that."

Though "Sam's Town" lead single "When You Were Young" received positive attention from radio and critics, the reality is the new album material wasn't as tuneful and engaging as the songs on "Hot Fuss." The band's first album included hit singles such as "Somebody Told Me," "Mr. Brightside" and "All These Things That I've Done."

4 million mark

Still, "Sam's Town" approaches the 4 million mark in global sales, so obviously someone somewhere is inspired.

"It's down a step from what 'Hot Fuss' did in America, but pretty much the rest of the world it's the same," Flowers said. "I don't know, we struck the wrong chord with obviously first of all the critics. I think we matured a lot, and we're growing up and people aren't sure what to do with us.

"I find that we're very similar to a band like The Cars, where people didn't quite know if they were new wave or if they were classic rock. I think we have that same type of a problem."

Flowers hints the band is already beginning to look forward to its third studio album, tentatively due out next fall. However, it hasn't written off "Sam's Town," which features radio singles "When You Were Young," "Bones" and "Read My Mind." A stateside tour brings The Killers back to Northeast Ohio for a Friday show at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University.

What remains to be seen with The Killers is whether the act was truly just an over-hyped band to begin with or if it just momentarily lost its focus in the glaring spotlight of expectation and fame. Flowers points to the band's current live show for an answer.

"Without sounding arrogant, we're really one of the best live bands in the world right now," Flowers said. "We come from Las Vegas, and our cloth is a little bit stranger than other people's. It's a little bit more glossy, and I think that's exciting."