The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers made his solo debut with Flamingo in an attempt to quell listeners until the band’s hiatus ends. But much to everyone’s surprise, this album does not even compare to the band. The lengthy 40 minutes of sub-par songwriting in Flamingo leaves you wondering when exactly all the agony might stop.
Flowers attempts to delve into his Springsteen roots by referring to subjects like devils, angels, lost love, and anything and everything in between. His continuous deep, meaningful statements leave no space for any type of softer, filler subject. With each song, the album sinks deeper into dramatic, cliché lines and statements.
The album begins with “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas,” “Only The Young,” and “Hard Enough.” The sheer similarity between these tracks suggests that perhaps the album would have been off to a better start had Flowers simply compiled those three songs into one. Flowers uses stereotypical subjects in “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” such as neon lights, palm trees, and gambling, saying things such as, “The house will always win.” The only difference between “Only The Young” and this first song is that “Only The Young” has a slightly better melody than does the first one.
“Hard Enough” features singer Jenny Lewis, but fails to give her the recognition she deserves. Instead of being a true duet, Lewis’ voice simply sinks into background vocals.
“Jilted Lovers And Broken Hearts” contains one of the most upbeat tempos in the album, but Flowers’ cliché lyrics, such as “Why did you roll the dice? Show your cards?” does the song in. “Playing With Fire” begins with a lengthy two-minute guitar intro that consists of the same four-note riff being continuously played in different pitches.
After a few more unmemorable tracks pass, the chiming bells of “Crossfire” give hope to a better song. The simple melody of the verses actually works in favor of the song, and the chorus is reminiscent of The Killers.
The album ends with “Swallow It,” a naive-sounding tune that Flowers attempts to make something more of. The music is just as generic as any other previously mentioned song on the album.
It was clear from the beginning that Flamingo was not a project that Flowers was exceptionally excited about creating. But perhaps Flowers has now rejuvenated his songwriting style and ideas and maybe the next The Killers album will be better than anything the group has produced thus far.