Flamingo by Brandon Flowers

File Label: Island
Launch Date: September 14, 2010
Parental Advisory?: No

The Killers’ first album, Scorching Fuss, struck a particular chord with me- and its success reminded us that fashionable rock radio is not all about post-grunge jock-rockers like Nickelback and Godsmack (although it’s largely about that). The Killers’ music was so infectious and rhythmic. Aesthetically, I used to be very fascinated by them as a result of they managed to tug off that form of androgynous, new wave sheen in a really fashionable setting. They got here alongside in 2004, the yr I graduated from highschool, and their music and elegance made me really feel like I used to be getting into a brand new world during which I may actually flourish, removed from all of these jerks in highschool who merely did not perceive me. In fact, starting with their second album, Sam’s City, The Killers started to shed a few of the sheen. There wasn’t an enormous dynamic shift of their sound, however it all felt a little bit dirtier. Flowers, as chances are you’ll know, is from Las Vegas and his music, to me, has at all times form of gave the impression of Las Vegas. Certain, he actually writes songs about Vegas from time to time, however it goes past that. It is extra of a sense. That metropolis has a flashy floor, filled with glitz and glamour and superstar socialites throwing events in nightclubs. In case you’re actually in search of that type of life-style, nonetheless, you would be higher off going to someplace like Miami, ‘trigger it ain’t actually what Vegas is about. Under the floor it is a dusty, desert city filled with alcoholics, playing addicts and washed-up performers ready that can assist you indulge each vice you have ever had.

Brandon Flowers is an skilled at exploring each aspect of his hometown and setting it to music. This has by no means been extra obvious than on his first solo album, Flamingo (named for the lodge and on line casino on the Vegas Strip). The identical varieties of characters that appeared in Killers songs are again, solely this time he is all however utterly deserted his outdated new wave sound in favor of 1 that is much more, properly, ‘Vegasy.’ Each music is an anthem that is as massive and flashy as a Lance Burton magic present however as heartbreaking because the middle-aged waitress on the diner who really has to reside within the large vacationer attraction that’s Las Vegas. On “Laborious Sufficient,” a duet with Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, Flowers portrays a person making an attempt to alter to be able to save his relationship with the lady he loves. It is the kind of music that is been written one million instances earlier than, however when it is performed this properly you actually do not thoughts listening to it once more. Like lots of the songs on the album, “Laborious Sufficient” is a superb piece of power-pop with a little bit of an outlaw nation twist and would sound correct at residence carried out by Kenny Rogers and Linda Ronstadt. First single “Crossfire” is probably the spotlight of the album. I am a sucker for energy ballad and this one is pitch-perfect. It is top-of-the-line songs Flowers has ever written and positively higher than something on The Killers’ final album.

Flowers is usually a little tacky at instances, particularly when he makes essentially the most blatant references to Vegas tradition. Within the ‘gambling-as-a-metaphor-for-relationships’ lyrics of “Jilted Lovers & Damaged Hearts,” he sings, “Why did you roll your cube, present your playing cards?/Jilted lovers and damaged hearts,” in a way that means even he thinks he ought to take it down a notch. Nonetheless, more often than not Flowers comes throughout as very honest and heartfelt, a troublesome job for somebody whose rock and roll persona is near reaching Bono ranges of grandeur. The one actually disappointing second of the album comes with closing monitor “Swallow It.” It is not a nasty music, per se, however it’s type of quirky and mid-tempo and does not actually go anyplace. It sounds misplaced and would have been a poor selection for a closing music on any album, however significantly on one like Flamingo that’s in any other case stuffed with arena-sized rock and roll anthems. Though, I suppose ending the album like this makes it really feel like an precise journey to Vegas: You anticipate to exit with a bang, however find yourself going out with a hangover and so much much less cash in your pocket. However both approach, you had fun!

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