After heating up the Billboard 200 back in 2004 with their smash breakout hit ‘Hot Fuss’, The Killers managed to pick up steam becoming a world-renowned rock band with their followup albums Sam’s Town and Day & Age, but after so much success, one needs a break. The Killers took a four year hiatus and during that time all worked on separate projects before reuniting and during this hiatus came Brandon Flowers’ first solo album, Flamingo.
The album employs velvety guitar and a soft-spoken sound that is akin to be considered country. Specifically tracks like The Clock Was Tickin’, which appears only on the Deluxe Edition, Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts, and the duet Hard Enough. The Clock Was Tickin’ tells the story of a couple who grow so wearily old together. Detailing their wonderful, yet difficult life in just a disappointingly short five minutes.
The leading single Crossfire amazes with a more serious, epic tonal vying chorus with “And we’re caught up in the crossfire of Heaven and Hell / And we’re searching for shelter.” The album has many spiritual, heavenly elements as well like in the jumpy Magdalena, where he sings about earning forgiveness by going to a sacred pilgrimage in the town of Sonora, in Mexico. The sticky lines like “Be delivered from the debts of darkness / And born again by candlelight / And born again my candlelight,” referring to a sinner asking the almighty lord for forgiveness by giving him a second chance via joyful echoes. Something that definitely goes along with his Mormon faith.
The track Jacksonville is quite lackluster. Calling for an overproduced sound to lyrics that would otherwise be spectacular if you could hear them clearly over the high-pitch hamster sounding “nah-nahs.” Swallow It is a very full tongue-in-cheek track with slick innuendo. One where his voice definitely shines and a sleek companion to On The Floor.
It’s an overall strong start to a wonderful solo career. A little uneven at times, but it distracts much less due to the very strong songs that accompany the album. Something worth buying and listening to in full strokes.
Songs to Buy: Crossfire, Was It Something I Said?, Swallow It
Songs to Skip: Jacksonville