Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brandon Flowers - Crossfire

Your first question, as mine was, might be “Who is Brandon Flowers?” The answer is that he is the lead singer for The Killers, most famously known for Mr. Brightside and probably most embarrassingly for the lyrics “are we human or are we dancers” (cringe). Since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve gotten into the bad habit of thinking I need to listen to something new every week. There wasn’t much that intrigued me this week, so I took a chance on Brandon and his new album, Flamingo, and was pleasantly surprised.

I was curious as to why Brandon decided to do a solo album, assuming he figured he didn’t need his fellow Killers anymore. What I read, however, is that he actually wanted to make this another Killers album, while his three band mates were ready for a rest, so solo he went. He maintains that this album doesn’t sound like The Killers, but I always think that unless you’re a diehard fan (and I would consider myself more of a casual fan) you’re not really going to notice the difference if the lead singer is the same and the sound isn’t TOO different from the original band. Brandon is kind of an interesting guy. He grew up around Las Vegas and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), a bit unusual for a rocker, especially one in a band called The Killers. He’s a little glitzy, although perhaps with his Vegas roots it can’t be helped. He’s also married with two kids and another on the way. Almost a normal guy!

I think this album has a lot of diversity, and after listening to it a couple times through I was singing along (to myself only, of course) and the lyrics stuck with me even when I wasn’t listening. It opens with a song about “Fabulous Las Vegas,” which is sure to be used in the city’s next marketing campaign. There are several songs about love lost, a song that Brandon describes as “Gospel”, and a bonus track that sounds country to me, including the sad ending. There is also a great duet with someone named Jenny Lewis, someone from a band I’m not familiar with.

I read a few reviews of the album that were pretty critical of Brandon’s solo effort, including the fact that he doesn’t come close to reaching the height of one of his main idols, Bruce Springsteen. I think those critics are snobs, or maybe my standards aren’t that high. I liked this album and most of the songs on it. Tracks to try: Hard Enough (Jenny Lewis duet) and Crossfire (getting radio play).  Watch the video for Crossfire, featuring Charlize Theron, below.

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