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4.5 out of 5 stars168
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 September 2010
The first solo effort by The Killer's frontman Brandon Flowers shows just how much talent is packed within his slender frame. Born out of a surge of creativity while the rest of the band wanted a break, Flamingo is all Brandon and clearly revolves around the things that matter most to him, namely his family and his religion. Flamingo features quality producers Stuart Price, Daniel Lanois and Brendan O'Brien, guest vocals by Jenny Lewis, along with contributions from Dave Keuning and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. If you love beautiful music be sure to check this out and ignore the negative reviews (you will see why for yourself).

Track by track:

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas - The opening track provides a fitting introduction to Flamingo and draws you into the world it revolves around, namely that of Las Vegas, Brandon Flowers' home town. Killer's fans will harken this to Sam's Town, the title track from their sophomore album. From the get go it is apparent how much Flowers' vocals have improved over the course of 7/8 years. His delivery is perfect and shifts fluidly from a slight country twang in the verses to soaring anthemic choruses.

Only The Young - Recently confirmed this will be next single off Flamingo and it's apparent why. This track is a stand-out favourite of mine with a truly brilliant chorus that will easily get you singing along. This is also one track where Brandon shows off his vocal range, achieving some truly ball-clenchingly high falsettos. Dotted around is a cool electronic beat that fits in surprisingly well with the drums.

Hard Enough - Another favourite of mine, Brandon wrote this as a love song for his wife and tells of the difficulties and tribulations their relationship has had to overcome. Featuring vocals from Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame, this song shows off some brilliant lyrics that will prove to be a fan favourite.

Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts - This track has quickly become the highlight for the lucky few who have already seen Brandon live as it is probably the most danceable of all the tracks from Flamingo. The song revolves around a troubled relationship filled with jealousy, a continuation of Mr Brightside perhaps?

Playing With Fire - This track has so far been played last at Brandon's live shows and simply screams anthem in the making of When You Were Young proportions. It builds slowly and tantalizingly to a breathtaking climax that leaves you gasping for more.

Was It Something I Said? - This is probably the most playful of the tracks, and follows a man's despair over a girl named Valentina. Originally this song started off as another track, The Clock Was Tickin' (which is available as a bonus track on the deluxe edition), but eventually evolved into two separate songs.

Magdalena - This is a cheesily catchy song that refuses to give up. Based around a pilgrimage taken from Nogales to Magdalena, you too will soon be caught up in the romanticism of the song.

Crossfire - The lead single from Flamingo which has already done the rounds on radio etc and reached No. 8 In the UK charts. The video features Charlize Theron and is definitely worth watching. Chosen as the lead single by Brandon's eldest son Ammon, this could easily have been the lead single from the next Killers album.

On The Floor - This gospel song seems quite an unusual fit with the other tracks, but it shows Brandon is no one-trick pony and can adapt very well to whatever genre.

Swallow It - According to Brandon this song is in fact not about fellatio (though the lyrics may suggest otherwise "you could not swallow it, no baby you're not ready slow down", "You're a performer!"). Quirkily catchy you will love this song until you hear you mother singling along to it on the radio.

I strongly urge you to also check out the deluxe edition which features four extra songs all of which easily deserve a place on the standard album.
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on 5 September 2010
As a debut solo effort, I approached this with the normally-warranted level of trepidation and doubt. This time, it was not warranted - this is a terrific album, filled to the brim with catchy melodies, memorable lyrics and great musical variety.

"Flamingo" opens with Flowers' homage to his home city: "Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas" - a grower of a track that would sit easily on "Sam's Town" or "Day and Age" - and follows it magnificently with the beautiful second single "Only The Young", which is reminiscent of "Tidal Wave" (one of The Killers' more under-appreciated tracks). The rest of the album could have been forgiven if it had not been able to hold the momentum of these songs throughout its duration, but save for one or two slight miss-fires (for me: "Hard Enough" and "Was It Something I Said?" are the weakest tracks on the album), it manages to maintain the quality all the way through to the last track-- even the bonus tracks hold their own; the fantastic Pet-Shop-Boysesque "Jacksonville" is one of the album's highlights.

Overall, "Flamingo" is a great surprise and is far more than just a filler before the next Killer. If you're a fan of the band, have no worries that you will also be a fan of their front-man.

ETA: I'd like to add that the album also sounds just stunning live; Flowers's voice is better than it has ever been and is capable of reproducing all of these tracks note-perfect. If you can catch him on the road, I'd highly recommend it.
22 comments|33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I'm not a huge Killers fan - I liked a few of their singles, but have never felt the need to delve any deeper. I heard Brandon Flowers talking about his solo album on the radio last week, and I thought that the lead single, "Crossfire" was pretty catchy, so tried the album on a whim.

Before posting, I took a look at some of the reviews on here, and was amazed to see one-star reviews with comments like "dull", "lyrics are random, meaningless drivel", "bland", "pedestrian", "turgid". Are these people listening to the same album as I am? Or have they got the vinyl on the wrong speed?

"Flamingo" is a stunning album. It's almost a concept album - a love-letter to the city of Las Vegas - and it is filled with catchy, uplifting, anthemic songs that you will be humming for weeks. If you aren't singing along with the opening track "Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas" within twenty seconds of hearing it, go and see your doctor, as you may well actually be dead. To the person who thinks the lyrics are "meaningless drivel", try actually thinking about them - they are far from meaningless if you understand the context.

I've just listened to the album three times in succession without a break - I can't remember the last time I heard an album that I couldn't wait to put back on again as soon as it finished. I'm now in my forties, but very rarely an album comes along that makes me remember what it was I loved about music as a teenager, about how I could lose myself in it, and this album has done that.

Probably the best thing I've heard all year - if this is what Brandon can do without the Killers, I can only suggest he ditches them and carries on on his own in the future. Can't recommend it highly enough, even if you aren't a Killers fan - absolutely storming.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 September 2011
I have been a fan of The Killers for some time now, and always hoped that the lead singer,
Brandon Flowers would do a solo album.
Well in 2010 he offered us his first solo CD, Flamingo, and a fine job he has made of it.
There are two versions of Flamingo, one with 10 tracks and the deluxe edition with 14 tracks.

This must be a marketing strategy, for why would you purchase a shorter album when you can get four more equally good tracks for a few pennies more?

The opening track, an obvious tribute to his home-town " Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" is a grower, I liked it the first time I heard it, but it became more-ish and now it's a favourite.
On some of the songs such as "The Clock was Tickin'" and "Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts", we find Brandon in plaintive mood. "Crossfire" is a great song and should have been a big stand alone hit but got little air-play, but it has a bigger sound than some of the other more pop numbers.

All in all I liked this album, mostly because of Brandon's natural tone of voice, no affectations, just well written thought provoking catchy lyrics and pleasing melodies.

Would love his record company Island, to release a DVD of the tour promoting the album to
compliment the CD.
For me this is a great first solo effort.Lets have another soon.
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on 3 April 2016
I bought this after "The desired effect" and I have to say that to my mind it is not as good. Don't get me wrong, this is enjoyable but I feel it isn't in the same class as "The desired effect". Love Brandon Flowers voice and his song writing, long may it continue and improve.
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on 20 April 2016
Mature musical work from Killers' charismatic and talented front man Brandon Flowers. If you loved The Killers then you'll probably like this too.
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on 10 September 2015
I have to start by saying I hate The Killers apart from "Human" - sorry. My husband loves them, so I bought him this album along with "The Desired Effect"

I don't usually like Brandon's voice - it's a bit too shrill for me, but like "The Desired Effect" something magical happens when he works on his own. His voice blends well with the melodies & the lyrics - which all based on Las Vegas - are witty & humorous. Buy the deluxe version - there's three bonus tracks & it's well worth it just for "The Clock was Tickin'", which is a Johnny Cash inspired masterpiece.
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on 12 May 2015
I just love this album - can you say album any more? I just love this CD, yup that sounds better. Hard/soft rock from a guy with a great voice and the words of "Welcome To Wonderful Las Vegas" sums up this city built on money, gambling, "the mob" & sleaze. Play it loud in your car, on your mp3 player or even on your old fashioned CD player, but play it!!!!
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on 28 May 2011
I absolutely love this album. If you like the Killers you'll love this. Brandon has a beautiful voice and the music is very varied which makes it more interesting. Would defo buy more of his stuff after this.
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on 15 September 2015
This is by far one of the best song collections I've heard following the early killers albums. Flowers voice is so addictive to listen to, The songs are fantastic and I particularly like it as driving music to keep me going on long journeys
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