After the Americana-tinged rock of Sam’s Town, it shouldn’t come as a surprise The Killers’ front man Brandon Flowers’ first solo effort brings an organ, piano, a choir, acoustic and steel guitar and even a duet with Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley into the mix on Flamingo.
But fans of The Killers’ 80s-revivalism won’t be disappointed here either — the synthesizers and driving beats haven’t gone anywhere. Flowers’ mix of styles results in something that seems utterly ridiculous on paper, but works perfectly well in execution — synth-pop with a twang.
Flowers certainly hasn’t lost his knack for writing soaring choruses. Songs like “Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts,” “Magdalena,” and “Crossfire,” the album’s lead single, are all top-rate songs.
While the classic Killers’ sound on many of the tracks is welcome, some of Flamingo’s most interesting moments come when Flowers flirts with country music. “On the Floor” has an old gospel melody that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Johnny Cash tune and “The Clock Was Tickin’,” a bittersweet song written about his recently deceased mother, features Flowers doing some of his best storytelling work yet.
With his first solo release, Brandon Flowers has written another solid, though not entirely consistent, batch of songs. But as good as some of these songs are, Flamingo ultimately just serves to whet the appetite for a new Killers’ album.