Continuing their tradition of releasing a Christmas single each year, Las Vegas’ own Killers have unveiled their fifth festive tune today called “Boots”. All proceeds from the Christmas singles benefit the Product Red campaign. Whether they are inspired by Santa’s footwear or terrible U2 singles, one thing is sure, this is the only new Killers tune you will get for a while as the “on hiatus” band awaits Brandon Flowers’ solo efforts to cool off. You can download the song here from itunes or watch the video below:
In all honesty, I’ve never been a big fan of Brandon Flowers. I’m not sure if it was the Mr. Brightside “guy-liner” days or his ridiculous “feather-jacket” posturing. Or maybe it’s the fact that I always find keyboardists (with the exception of Ray Manzurek) to be somewhat comical. The veritable, odd-man-out in any rock n roll group. My point being – I’ve long been one of his biggest critics. However in recent years, the Prince of Las Vegas has started to grow on me. The Killers’ last album, Day & Age, is by far my favorite, and now that I’ve finished listening to Flowers’ first solo record, Flamingo, for the sixth time, it appears I’m starting to sing a different tune.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Flowers reminisces about his hometown Las Vegas and the neighborhoods he used to frequent, all the while channeling the styles of that era’s musicians. There’s a little bit of Duran Duran, early U2 and even some Billy Joel, which lands this record more towards the pop bin at your local music store than rock, but that’s probably to be expected with “sometimes you gotta slow it down” producers like Daniel Lanois (U2) and Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen). Much of it sounds like The Killers so you might wonder why Flowers felt the need to go solo on this one. It’s Sam’s Town without the rest of the band. Perhaps the uber-personal themes of his religious faith, memories of childhood and the recent passing of his mother had something to do with it. One could be real cynical here and attack some of Flowers’ more cliche lines that pop up throughout but this album is more about for the back alleys and kitchen tables than the neon strip. It tries to convey a sense of “hey real people live here too” instead of just coming-and-going tourists looking to score.
Musically there are some definite winners and a few busts. This review is based on the deluxe album and as someone who hates “bonus’ gimmicks the deluxe version is simply a much stronger listen. It’s a definite improvement of the “hit-or-miss” regular version. Flowers shines on such tracks as “Hard Enough” (a duet with Rilo Kiley frontlady Jenny Lewis), the Billy Joel-esque “Was It Something I Said” and the highway-drivin’ “Magdalena”. The latter brings up familiar feelings of another artist who reigned supreme during Flowers’ youth, The Boss. The first single “Crossfire” is classic Killers (which is probably why it’s the single) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As far as duds go, the ridiculous “Swallow It” is hard to take seriously and is a terrible way to end the regular album. That’s why I recommend the deluxe version. Pay the extra buck or two and you’ll appreciate a rarity in modern media – bonus material that doesn’t suck. All of the extra songs are decent but the country ballad “The Clock Was Tickin” and the synth-heavy spookfest “Right Behind You’ are the real treats.
As a natural skeptic of solo albums it’s impressive to see a front-man who can go it alone and still make something special. I’ve listened to last year’s solo efforts from Paul Banks (Interpol) and Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) and neither came close to creating an all-around enjoyable album like Flamingo. While Flowers might not win everyone over as he “struts his stuff” there’s enough good material for the lone Killer to put a big pink feather in his cap.
Lately all the Jenny Lewis news has been about her new project with boyfriend Johnathan Rice, but looks like one of our favorite female voices has been double timing (not in that way, get your mind out of the gutter) with The Killers singer Brandon Flowers. Flowers is about to release his solo album Flamingo and the latest single “Hard Enough” features some well placed, albeit subtle, backup vocals from Lewis. You can preview the single below and look out for Flowers’ new album out September 14th.
A new video has been released for the first single off Killers’ lead singer, Brandon Flowers’ upcoming solo album Flamingo due out this September. The video involved a string of incidents in which Mr. Flowers manages to get captured and tied up by a band of ninjas, only to find Charlize Theron saving the day time and time again. Yeeeaaahh, it’s kind of weird but whatever. Beats watching Lady Gaga strut around in a weather balloon right?
Last month, an announcement came from frontman Brandon Flowers about a new solo album, Flamingo. The announcement offered few details save for a “coming soon” message, and a very short loop of a rather cool sounding tune called “Crossfire”.
Well, a full version of that song has surfaced on the web and is streaming below. The song sounds an awful lot like a Killers song, but it is a good tune nonetheless. We’ll keep you posted as new details emerge about Flamingo.