Sawdust is a cute name for an album of b-sides and rarities. The bits and pieces that fell by the wayside during the construction of the Killers’ Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town make up the majority of the band’s new collection, which also assembles a few choice soundtrack cuts (a cover of Joy Division’s “Shadowplay” from Anton Corbijn’s documentary Control and “Move Away” from Spider-Man 3) and the popular club mix of “Mr. Brightside” by Jacques Lu Cont (nom de remix of Stuart Price, who co-produced two of the album’s three previously unreleased tracks, “Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf” and “Sweet Talk”—another indication that, following the arena rock sound of their last record, the Killers might move in a more synth-pop direction for their next album proper). The other new track, lead single “Tranquilize,” is a lumbering slice of blues-rock featuring Lou Reed and a creepy choir of “children playing” that fits more in line with Sam’s Town. A piano version of that album’s title track deflates the original’s bombast but it’s a nice little stylistic ode to Abbey Road Studios, where the track was recorded live last year along with a cover of Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” for the “For Unknown Reasons” single. The charity holiday single “A Great Big Sled” and the splendid remixes of “When You Were Young” and “Read My Mind” (the Gabriel & Dresden mix of the latter was only available with an iTunes pre-order of the album) would have made nice additions, but Sawdust will still fill in the void for fans—to which the album is dedicated, natch—while they wait for a new LP.
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