After The Killers opted for a hiatus, the group’s lead singer and notorious workaholic Brandon Flowers refused to sit idly by and instead saw an opportunity to create a debut solo album. On his new LP, “Flamingo,” Flowers pays homage to his beloved hometown of Las Vegas and seeks to solidify himself as one of Sin City’s golden boys.
“Flamingo,” a who’s-who of modern rock’s mega-producers, calls upon Stuart Price (Madonna), Daniel Lanois (U2) and Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen). It’s no surprise that he would be trying to make a significant impact in the modern rock scene with his solo debut.
The first track, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” creeps in with hushed vocals and a pitch-bending lap steel guitar. The song expands into a grandiose, over-dramatic anthem complete with thundering timpani. The essence of Las Vegas is captured, but the overabundance of gambling, neon lights and call girl clichés proves wearisome.
“Playing with Fire” is one of the most impressive songs on “Flamingo.” During this cut, the singer wails over a trudging and tiresome beat that culminates into a spectacular dedication to faith, proving he can deliver a heartfelt religious song on almost any album he’s involved in. Flowers successfully evokes a weary journey that results in a religious epiphany.
Flowers definitely deserves credit for expanding his musical boundaries and sampling varying musical styles for his solo debut. “Flamingo” is full of songs with direct meanings and good, old-fashion Americana flavor. However, Flowers should realize he’s a singer and not a tourism promoter. The played-up Las Vegas references take some of the majesty out of an album that could have been something truly impressive.