It was 2005 and a one of the albums of the decade was released by a fresh new band out of Las Vegas. Now The Killers’ front man, Brandon Flowers, attempts to match the success of Hot Fuss with his debut solo album Flamingo. Has he succeeded in this sizeable feat? No, not by a long, long way.
If you’re a big fan of The Killers, then get your trainers on and run your arse off, because this will leave you disappointed. Even though this is a solo effort, it is almost embarrassing to The Killers and it’s a massive step down for a man who has proved he can write massive indie pop hits. Listening to this album is like being at the cheesiest disco you can possibly imagine. It truly is cringe inducing. Yes Brandon, we know how much you love Las Vegas, but you’ve been there and sung about that already. But now you’re using the kind of Vegas cliché you’d find in a Wayne Newton song, ‘Why did you roll your dice, show your cards?’ (‘Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts’). The gospel choir on ‘On The Floor’ feels used and slightly tacky and the keyboard line of ‘Was It Something I Said’ sounds like the repetitive music of an 80’s arcade game and makes me want to cut off the fingers of every pianist so it can never be played again. But there are some tracks here worthy of praise. The album’s first single ‘Crossfire’ is a great pop ballad. The songs chorus ‘And we’re caught up in the crossfire of heaven and hell’ is more than capable of going up against any ‘Somebody Told Me’ or ‘Mr Brightside’. Album closer ‘Swallow It’ really has a charm about it and according to Mr Flowers is not a song about oral copulation, but with lines like ‘You couldn’t swallow it, no baby you’re not ready. Slow down’ and ‘You’re a performer!’ you wouldn’t be blamed for thing it was a bit risqué.
Unfortunately this is a disappointing album from a great singer who is clearly better off with the guidance of his band behind him. So Brandon, call up the guys, all have a good laugh about this, get back in the studio and write something less bland and more creative with the swagger we had come to expect from you!
From Rhys Morgan.