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25th October 2010

Album: Flamingo – Brandon Flowers

2 Stars The progression from frontman to solo artist is a well documented one. Morrissey, Richard Ashcroft, Sting – all have tried their hand at breaking away from the constraints of a rock band democracy to pursue their own creative interests. But the one thing that the above have in common is that their music […]
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Flamingo – Brandon Flowers

2 Stars

The progression from frontman to solo artist is a well documented one. Morrissey, Richard Ashcroft, Sting – all have tried their hand at breaking away from the constraints of a rock band democracy to pursue their own creative interests. But the one thing that the above have in common is that their music ends up sounding exactly like that of their associated acts, just not quite as good. And with the release of debut solo album Flamingo, Brandon Flowers can now be added to this list.

While the formulaic pop structures that Flowers has perfected over the course of three Killers albums are put to good use here (take the Sam’s Town-esque anthemic choruses and big orchestration on opening track ‘Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas’ for example), the glam-rock aesthetic that we’ve become so accustomed to has been stripped of both glamour and rock, no doubt leaving Killers fans feeling nostalgic.

The dream-like ‘Only The Young’ sees Flowers stumble upon a musical wasteland, while on annoyingly catchy bonus track ‘The Clock Was Tickin’’, he lends his southern drawl to what at first appears a homage to alt-country, but just turns into a farcical attempt at Guthrie-inspired talking blues.

But it would be unfair to judge this collection of songs by Killers standards, and there are some gems. A collaboration with Jenny Lewis on ‘Hard Enough’ brings some much-needed respite from Flowers’ dreary warbling, and the more up-beat ‘Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts’ is one of the few songs on the album with substance and direction, resembling ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘Spaceman’. And of course there’s ‘Crossfire’, the album-teaser released last month, which is basically a re-working of Killers classic ‘Human’.

However, for all its introspective musings, emotional urgency and widescreen imagery, Flamingo is just missing something. And it might just be the other three band members.

Eoghan Bennett, Music Editor


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