Earlier in 2010 the Killers announced they were going on hiatus, and I was a bit confused and surprised at this. Come to find out, his mother died of cancer in Feb. 2010. Then last year, Brandon Flowers appeared on a video as part of the LDS church’s “I’m a Mormon” campaign. These seemed to explain a bit of why the Killers may have taken a little break. And he was not the only one to work on side projects. Bassist Mark Stoermer and drummer Ronnie Vannucci both released their own albums and have been working on others’ albums. Never fear – they are planning on releasing another album this year.
But let us go back to “Flamingo.” I really got into it about a year ago, a little I went camping and then to Vegas for spring break. The whole thing is a retro mix of pop rock and new wave synth, but with a delightful country twinge.
Because little things like this make us laugh, my wife and I threw on the album as we drove into Las Vegas Valley, rolled down the windows and were welcomed to the city by warm desert air, a beautiful crimson sunset, those neon lights and Brandon’s melancholy “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas.”
The country bits only seem to shine through in portions of songs. There is plenty of little slide guitar lines throughout the album, but country/folk singer Jenny Lewis on “Hard Enough” provides a nice contrast to the otherwise pop rock song.
And then there are songs like “Jacksonville,” “I Came Here to Get Over You,” “Was it Something I Said?” and “Swallow It” which make me feel like I am listening to the Wedding Singer soundtrack.
Knowing that his mother recently died of cancer, I feel like “On the Floor” and “The Clock was Tickin” seem to become more personal bittersweet reflections on his situation and I find myself getting a little sentimental.
For me, the most beautiful moment on the album is the suspension and harmony in the lines after the first chorus of “Only the Young.” And I think those lines are telling of his religious beliefs.
My two favorite songs are “Only the Young” and upbeat “Magdalena.” I am not sure what it is about “Magdalena,” but however you might describe “Only the Young,” “Magdalena” is the opposite. It is happy and hopeful. I would call it choleric, but that seems to aggressive. And sanguine does not seem to have enough energy. Maybe I would use that to describe “Crossfire,” which is just a notch below where “Magdalena” is for me.
If any of you are Killers fans, but are nervous about getting into this solo project, just start with “Crossfire” and put it on random. You will like it.