Review: Brandon Flowers | Flamingo

Island Def Jam/Vertigo (2010)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  September 16, 2010
1.5 1.5 Stars


Brandon Flowers has gone on record saying he brought the songs on Flamingo to his fellow bandmates for the next Killers album and was given the brush-off. Instead of heading back to the proverbial songwriting board, he decided to indulge an always risky ego move by offering up a solo album. Alas, for every Julian Casablancas, there are a dozen Scott Weilands, and our glittery friend with lofty ambitions of becoming the Springsteen of Las Vegas doesn’t fare too well in his inaugural outing.

Flamingo is embarrassingly over-earnest from the outset, with the awful “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” riffing on the Sin City standards (cocaine and sunsets over neon lights). And when B-Flo croons about stumbling “down the boulevard crying, ‘Hosanna,’ ” with that last word rising up like a choir, the artistic bottom just drops out.

The Killers may still be music for thirtysomething guys covering up those first gray hairs and women of the same age dating young men in efforts to remain hip, but Flamingo is straight-up soccer-mom material. Religious faith comes up often, sitting there like a watercolor that has too much transparency and not enough paint. Tales of characters who met dealers, had babies, and “saved a thousand dollars for a brand new start” comes off less the Boss and more Billy Joel. That’s been Flowers’s shtick since the Killers renounced their New-Order-trolls-Duran-Duran leanings and went about seeking a more Americana vibe — which is how we got to this Sam’s Town–lite attempt at grandiosity. It’s not all bad. Current single “Crossfire” is a bright spot, and Jenny Lewis salvages an otherwise middling “Hard Enough,” but Flowers gets lost trying to showcase small-town sentimentality on a brightly lit stage.

Related: Trans Am | What Day Is It Tonight? Trans Am Live, 1993 - 2008, Various Artists | Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Brandon Flowers, Brandon Flowers,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE SOFT MOON | ZEROS  |  October 24, 2012
    Feeling disassociated, darkened, distressed, or just plain different this fall? Don't fret or suffer like the only hope out there for getting lost musically is by listening to early Depeche Mode or jumping on the Kraftwerk revival bandwagon.
  •   BAT FOR LASHES | THE HAUNTED MAN  |  October 18, 2012
    It's no myth that artists tend to struggle with the dreaded second-album slump, but less clichéd and much more real is the third-album choke — especially when previous releases are so critically acclaimed.
  •   THE WALKMEN FILL IN THE GAPS  |  October 10, 2012
    Nothing on the seventh Walkmen release is remotely as jarring as their 2004 masterpiece, "The Rat," a song that had frontman Hamilton Leithauser howling over frenetic guitars and a wildly crashing drumbeat.
  •   FRIGHTENED RABBIT READY TO EMERGE  |  October 02, 2012
    It's always annoying when a band is touted as "the next big thing," especially when they've been around pumping out great stuff for years and then suddenly everyone is talking about them like the stork dropped them off that morning — see Bon Iver winning a Best New Artist Grammy this year, five years after their debut came out.
  •   THE SOUND QUALITY OF CASPIAN  |  September 25, 2012
    Bands looking to create a BUZZ should take note of Caspian.

 See all articles by: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER