• The Killers hit another home run with The Cowboys Christmas Ball
  • The Killers hit another home run with The Cowboys Christmas Ball
    Written by battye
    Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:09 pm

    The Killers new EP, (RED) Christmas EP, is one of the diverse Christmas compilations going around featuring the classic pop-rock sound fans of The Killers will be familiar with as well an upbeat country track, a Mexican style mariachi offering and more relaxed ballad. This has been a long time coming with The Killers building up a decent collection of Christmas songs over the last 6 years. The EP consists of songs recorded since 2006 as part of The Killers annual effort to support the Product RED campaign and roughly presents the evolution of the band in the stylings of each song. It is disappointing that this was only a digital release, but I would not be suprised to see a full Christmas album at some point in the next decade if The Killers keep releasing their annual Christmas song.

    The first Christmas song released by the Las Vegas band was "A Great Big Sled" in 2006 and contains a mixture of the best elements of Hot Fuss and Sam's Town, perhaps leaning more towards the nature of the latter due to the similarities it shares with Smile Like You Mean It. The tempo is not over the top, the chorus isn't dramatic but fits perfectly with the rest of the song.

    "Don't Shoot Me Santa" from 2007 swings in the other direction toward more the alternative nature of Sam's Town. "Don't Shoot Me Santa" starts slowly with a bit of spoken word before, to the songs credit, entering a rousing chorus - probably the pinnicle of the entire EP.

    The 2008 single, "Joseph, Better You Than Me" is a nice ballad featuring Elton John and the Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant which might appeal to many but is in my opinion the least engaging song on the EP.

    "Happy Birthday Guadalupe!" featured a shift towards upbeat Mexican folk-rock in 2009, but it was "Boots" - released in 2010 despite the band officially being on hiatus - which saw the biggest evolution in The Killers Christmas songs, emulating the synthpop stylings of the 2008 album Day & Age. This song could have comfortably been released as singles after "Human" and "Spaceman". At over 5 minutes long, it lies between somewhere between "Joseph, Better You Than Me" and the rest tempo-wise but there's no doubt it features the most compelling lift of all of the songs.

    2011's "The Cowboys' Christmas Ball" is a country offering which would almost seem at home on the 2007 album "Sawdust". It is the lead single from the EP and it is no surprise as this could get the whole soiree to do-si-do.

    "A Great Big Sled", "Don't Shoot Me Santa" and "Boots" are classic Killers - but don't be fooled, these are true Christmas songs as the lyrics and instrumental variations - the reliance on triangles, bells, etc - would suggest. At AUD $8.49 or just USD $5.99 on iTunes it's well worth downloading if you are a Killers fan or interested in a different style of Christmas song.

    (RED) Christmas EP track listing:

    1. A Great Big Sled
    2. Don't Shoot Me Santa
    3. Joseph, Better You Than Me
    4. Happy Birthday Guadalupe!
    5. Boots
    6. The Cowboys' Christmas Ball
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