Mojave Rain

Flamingo Review

Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas
No song could’ve opened this album better. It’s fitting that an album all about Vegas and religion is opened by a song that is about exactly that. “Las Vegas” has good verses, and a catchy chorus. Combine that with lyrics like “Give us your dreamers, your harlots and your sin”, and you get a song that is very Brandon, and does a stellar job of making you feel welcome.

Only the Young
We first heard this song as the countdown music to Brandon’s solo career, so it’s kind of nice to see it come full circle. That being said, this is one of the weaker tracks on the album. I’m not sure why Brandon picked it as a single, but that’s just me. The song is too slow and pondering, and it should’ve used the “ha”’s  more throughout the song, because that’s the best part. Personally, I preferred the first remix of this to the original song.

Hard Enough
This obvious love song to Brandon’s wife is easily the worst track on the album. It’s held down by a cheesy chorus and forgettable lyrics. Brandon could’ve left this one off the album and I wouldn’t have minded at all. “The Clock Was Tickin” should’ve have been on the album instead of this song. This song does however, have a redeeming guitar solo at the end.

Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts

This song sounds very Springsteen, and very Sam’s Town. It would’ve felt right at home on The Killers’ sophomore album, which is my favorite album. That’s probably why I’ve taken such a liking towards this song’s sound. It shows off Brandon’s excellent song writing abilities. Great lyrics and an infectious chorus, this song is one of the highlights of this already great album. Easily the second best on the album

Playing With Fire
In the darkest and longest song on the album, Brandon tells a tale of charcoal veins, and ten thousand angels and demons. Much like The Killers’ 2008 song “Goodnight, Travel Well”, this song is very brooding. Unlike “Goodnight, Travel Well”, which broods about death, this song is largely about religion, and is only occasionally peppered by death. There were some points where I felt that the song would’ve benefited from having more crashing drums, which Ronnie used to provide. Despite that, it’s still a great song.

Was It Something I Said?
"Was It Something I Said" is a breezy pop song that Brandon was initially known for, and it would’ve felt right at home on Hot Fuss.  A danceable tune with a memorable chorus makes it perfect to get up and sing and dance to. There is something wrong with it though, or missing, you could say. It’s missing that edginess that Brandon was also known for. I miss that. But other than that, a very solid song.

Magdalena
The best song on the album, Magdalena runs in the same vein as songs like “Human” and “Spaceman”, a stadium ready pop song. It boasts some of the best lyrics since Read My Mind, “The summer left her without forgiveness, it’s mirrored in her children’s eyes”, and catchy “Oh-oh”s throughout the song.  I cannot stress enough how great this song is, definitely the song of the year.

Crossfire

The first single off of Flamingo, released a while ago, so by now we’re all very familiar with this one. Brandon’s son picked this as the first single, and it has proved to be a good choice. It has gotten Flamingo attention leading up to its release, which is always a good thing. When I first heard this song, I was skeptical about how it would come over live, and let me tell you, by the time the final “Lay your body down” ‘s come, everyone is dancing and singing along. Good job Brandon.

On the Floor
This song is would’ve fit perfect in Elvis’ catalogue, and it would’ve done even better as Flamingo’s closer, but for some reason it’s not. That doesn’t change the quality of the song though. The most blatantly religious song on the album, Brandon sings about “Facing the things he’s done here on the floor”, and ends it with a gospel choir backing him. This would not fit in at all on a Killers record, so I’m glad Brandon did it on Flamingo.

Swallow It
“Swallow It” is by far the strangest song on the album, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It took a little while, but this little gem of a song really grew on me. It was clearly written about Brandon’s children, and some of the lyrics seem a bit awkward at first, “Just take your time, but not too much time”. But after a few listens, you’ll love this unconventional love song. Brandon said that he was very proud of this song, I can see why.

The Clock Was Tickin’
A very southern influenced song, “The Clock Was Tickin” is a heart wrenching tale of Jackie Geronimo’s whole life, from when she was a little kid to when she died. Brandon’s vocals are very good on the song, even though at some points he’s just talking, it works with the song. This song alone is worth getting the deluxe edition. I fell in love with song the first time I heard it.

Jacksonville
Jacksonville sounds like it was ripped right from the 80’s. Brandon’s heavy influence of the Pet Shop Boys is clearly shown in this song, as well as his love for synths. The track is dominated by an almost Thriller-like synth sound, which is perfectly fine. It works, and it comes out as a very good track. It could’ve easily been on the album, heck, it would’ve made a better single than “Only The Young”.

I Came Here To Get Over You
In this song it felt like Brandon was trying to write like he did on Hot Fuss. This would normally be good. He accomplished that writing on “Forget About What I Said”, and even “Was It Something I Said?” But on this song, it doesn’t work. It’s easy to see why this song didn’t make it on the album, as it’s the weakest of the bonus tracks.

Right Behind You
In another synth heavy track, Brandon sings about being “born with goodness”, and tells them to “break your word over me”. Jenny Lewis once again adds vocals to the track, which compliments it nicely. The song finishes with a piano playing you off, a nice closer to Flamingo, for those who got the Deluxe Edition. While not Brandon’s best work, “Right Behind You” is still a good ending song to a great album.

Final Thoughts
On April 29, 2010, when the countdown ended on The Killers’ site, and it was revealed that Brandon would be doing a solo album entitled “Flamingo”, I must admit, I wasn’t overjoyed. I thought it would be a synth driven album, very similar to Killers’ songs such as “Smile Like You Mean It” and “Tidal Wave.” And what we got was a more acoustic driven album, which I must say, surprised me. If you heard “Crossfire” when it was first release, and you didn’t know it was from Brandon’s solo album, you would’ve have thought it was a Killers’ song. The rest of the album however, doesn’t all sound like The Killers. Songs like “Swallow It”, “Hard Enough” and “On the Floor” are a departure from The Killers’ sound. But on the other hand, songs like “Jilted Lovers”, “Magdalena” and “Was It Something I Said?” would’ve felt right at home on a Killers album. Which is good, I guess. We all love The Killers here, so that was a pleasant surprise to find similarities between the records. But I didn’t know how much I would miss the rest of the band being there with him until I saw Brandon live in Chicago. It was weird seeing him without his fellow Killers up on stage too. I think I speak for all of us when I say; I can’t wait until The Killers get back together. But for now, we have Flamingo to tide us over. This is as close to a Killers album that we’ll get.


The Best of the Best
Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts
Magdalena
Swallow It
The Clock Was Tickin’