[sic] Magazine

Brandon Flowers – Flamingo

‘You can take the girl out of Bananarama, but not the Bananarama out of the girl’, goes the old cliché.

And these days, fame is interchangeable, where the singers of bands become the bands themselves – step forward Guns N’Roses , and Morrissey – or in the case of Brandon Flowers , where the voice becomes the singular identifiable entity. Therefore, Brandon Flowers debut solo record is the odd ‘Flamingo’, demonstrating proof that Brandon Flowers dominates The Killers by intention or design. Either that, or his bandmates and he are so aligned that there is no qualitative difference between the band and the solo work. From a musical perspective, there are slight changes in musical styling; electronic leanings, or slide guitar and blues licks, that expand – slightly – the musical world. But ultimately, it sounds just like The Killers: there’s no radical reinvention (not that reinvention is a word you would expect to tie in with Ver Killers ), and Flowers still pushes at the limits of his voice.

Betraying a maturity beyond his years, Flowers opens the album with the disillusioned ‘Welcome To Las Vegas’, a cautionary tale that tells you that the house always wins, and that all things will be ok, though riches come from inside. The trademarks that make The Killers an intriguing prospect are here in spades, the soaring guitars, the wide strings, and the lyrics that are intimate, distant, and oddly narrative akin to a post-modern, awkward Springsteen .

Stand out tracks are the singles – the unsurprising ‘Crossfire’ itself and ‘Only The Young’ – both of which are the type of song you can hear just once, never tire of, and remember forever. Which is the sign of a great song, even if it’s not one you like. (The last time I heard songs so instantly memorable was when Johnny Marr and Ian McCulloch performed a song on MTV in 1992 which I’ve only heard once, called something like ‘Until Tomorrow’). Despite my better intentions, and the limitations of Flowers range, the man sings his heart out with an acutely self-aware perspective that makes these songs both crafted, and honest – but not unthinking. However, his Country & Western tinged geetar solos on songs like ‘Hard Enough’ are tough to digest.

But there’s more to this: the record is that perhaps most perfect of things –a sterile, thoughtful, and credible slice of indie-pop, about all things and nothing at the same time. The kind of thing that perhaps you will start liking, and end up loving – a record that with each listen, unveils ever more layers and dimensions. ‘Flamingo’ is perhaps premature as a solo release, but nonetheless, more than adequately justifies its existence with an assured touch and a fine vision that show Flowers to be more than just the gimping vocalist but a musician in his own right.



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