brandon flowers flamingo
  • WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010

  • Posted by: Joe Puglisi

On his first solo record, Brandon Flowers slides further into the neo-pop that took The Killers from gritty young bashers to polished, bombastic heights. Flamingo also demonstrates the strength of his melodies (and the goofiness of his thematic preoccupations). Flowers never was one for poetically dense lyrics, from the early onset of "Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine" (very literal) to the cries that denote the entrance of the record, "welcome to fabulous/Las Vegas". Sometimes you need to listen to each song six or seven times before you can get over the lyrics, but that's OK.

Fans of The Killers, especially those who found a lot to love on 2008's Day & Age will find a natural interest in Flower's solo work. The overall sound of his arrangements fit nicely in with typical Killers songs, even if they skew a little more Lite FM and cheesy in subject matter.

But the theme of Las Vegas is very personal to Flowers, so it's tough to fault him for reaching for some of the more cliched sentiments about the town ("the house always wins", drugs, prostitutes, etc). Sin City is a fake town, composed of cliches, recreations and impersonators. Flowers does well to stock his references with such stereotypes, they actually paint a pretty accurate picture of a town filled with dreams of grandeur via a disillusioned roll of the dice. Flamingo fits, the wildly bright, awkward bird that adorns so many lawns in America (as a decoration). A plastic metaphor for an awkward man, from (near) a town filled with fake monuments and impostors. Kind of perfect. -joe puglisi

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