I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!
The road of record releases are littered with lead singers of bands who feel the need to put out a solo disk to express themselves outside of their band.
Yeah, I get it when they are one of several singers in the band (Eagles? Fleetwood Mac? Kajagoogoo!....I kid....I kid....). I even almost get it if they are the lone singer but sing material written by other band members. I'm not sure I 100% get this.
Brandon Flowers (not a bad url) has a non-Killers disk, a solo one, titled Flamingo.
I like the Killers. I like Flowers (no relation to Rebecca). I even like some of the songs on this disk, but overall I'm not feeling it. At least not 2+ weeks into it all.
I always assume (yes, I know what happens when one does that!), that an artist is looking for more diversity when they do a solo project like this. The irony is, most Killers albums have a greater breadth of variety on any one of their disks than he exhibits here and he already sings all their songs and writes a lot of their lyrics and music.
Don't get me wrong, it's by no means a horrible album, but it does show how much the other three members of the group contribute to their craft. So where's the experimentation?
Yes, "Crossfire" is a decent single, but the remix is even better and I don't often say that. And it's not part of the extra tracks. But the song could easily easily easily be a song from his band's disks. The second single, "Swallow It" couldn't have been a bigger misstep if he or the record company tried. It is without a doubt the weakest song on the disk. It has very little going for it.
There are good tracks: "Only the Young", "Playing with Fire" and "Hard Enough" (with Jenny Lewis), but some are just ok right over to downright weak like "Magdalena", "Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts" and "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas".
Flamingo turns out to be more of the same of Killers-influenced music. Killers-lite. There is little to no stretch here. I was hoping for something more. And yes, like I always do, I got suckered into the 'deluxe' version: 4 more songs and 4 more dollars. I'm a marketing guys fucking dream!
At least one of the bonus tracks is a bit different and not in a bad way. "The Clock Was Ticking" is country influenced ditty where the music works, but the vocal arrangement really doesn't - at least not together.
So, is it a worthy purchase? If you're a die-hard Killers fan, I'd normally say sure. But I like the Killers and it's an ok disk, but I won't be coming back to it over and over.