Review: Brandon Flowers – ‘The Desired Effect’ (2015)

The Killers' front-man is back with a bang with his second instalment fresh out of the 80's.

Rejoice! Killers’ frontman, Brandon Flowers, has returned the art of releasing solo albums for the first time since Flamingo (2010) with his second solo project, The Desired Effect, released on Island and EMI records.

After the first full listen, this album comes across as very 80’s, with the prominent use of synthesizers and echoed vocals, it sounds like something you have heard before but not for a long time. It sounds like an album you are familiar with but can’t remember which one.

It starts out with Dreams Come True, a feel-good, pick-me-up song filled with bongos and trumpets, it is a true anthem with big fills and big sounds, listening to the chorus you feel like confetti should be filling the sky and lights should be flashing as if it is a celebration.

This sets the tone of the album, pretty much. Next up we have the lead single from the album, Can’t Deny My Love: this song is about frustration, being in love with someone that doesn’t allow themselves to show their true feelings.

With a solid drumline and layered sound of guitar, bass, keyboard and vocals, this song is one of the stand-out songs on the record. It does a great job of getting the feeling of frustration across, with Flowers sounding like he has held the emotion in too long and eventually just lashes out in the bridge before transitioning into the final chorus.

Then we have songs like I Can Change, which to me, is reminiscent of A-Ha. Still Want You, a happy, chanting song that will have you nodding along with a smile on your face.

The first time on the album we hear the sound we associate with The Killers, and the sound that will undoubtedly please the fans who have been waiting three years for an album by the quartet, is in Between Me and You, which I think, sound like a slightly more up-tempo Read My Mind, from the band’s second album, Sam’s Town (2006).

Then we have the latest single, Lonely Town, which is a great song, the best song on the record. It is so 80’s and I love it. Definitely give it a listen and check out the video at the top of this review.

The last song on the album is The Way It’s Always Been, a beautifully produced and arranged song, with a simple beat in the background with a band of strings and Flowers’ soft vocal performance and delivery of lyrics reminiscent of Bob Dylan.

The song builds up from slow to a kind of free-falling final chorus. With a sound that gives you a feeling of release which is so rare these days, tell me I am cliché but it made me feel free, as if I had just revealed all my emotion and frustration of the world and because of that, I had a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. A great song to finish the album with.

I love this album; there is not one song I don’t like. There may be a couple of songs I would skip when listening on my phone, but every album has that.

Give it a listen and let me know what you thought.

Diversity of sound
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