Filed Under: BUY THIS/HEAR THIS/WATCH THIS
It took me a while to get into The Killers. It really wasn’t my vibe but The BF was a huge fan of them and dragged me to a show. Once I saw them live – and heard Brandon Flowers’ powerful voice outside of a studio setting – I was convinced that they had far more talent than I had ever given them credit for. So by the time Brandon announced a new solo project (“The Desired Effect”, a follow-up to 2010’s “Flamingo”), I was on board, waiting to see what he’d give us.
Like The Killers, the songs mention things like dirty roads, highways, state penitentiaries and working overtime…you know, real “American” rock imagery. Very John Cougar Mellencamp, for those of a certain age. But this isn’t a surprise – he’s from Vegas for God’s sake.
However, unlike The Killers, the music on “The Desired Effect” is very late 80’s, early 90’s pop/rock – and I mean that in the best way possible. I was leaving middle and starting high school around then so this music brings me back to a time when music was literally saving my life. Don’t believe me? Check out the synth in “Lonely Town” and call me a liar to my face!
He also employed an incredible set of female backing vocalists, adding a gospel quality to most of the songs (as you heard on “Lonely Town”). Sometimes he just layers his own voice, becoming a choir with a force that punches you right in the gut. You hear this most on the track “I Can Change”.
One of my favorite tracks is “Can’t Deny My Love”, which gives me Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine tease. For me, the 80’s were all about Gloria Estefan. It’s a lot more of a dance vibe than you’d get from The Killers, which is great for Brandon (I mean, who wants to do the same damn thing all the time).
It’s not all fun and games on “The Desired Effect”. On the track “Between Me and You” he makes me bawl my eyes out, especially with lines like “Between me and you I’ve been struggling to carry the weight.” Ugh. Just thinking about it makes me go all Tammy Faye Bakker.
So get the album and find him on tour. Whether fully plugged in or acoustic, you won’t be disappointed. This man is a true professional and with work of this quality (like, one of my favorite albums so far this year kind of quality), we’re not getting rid of him anytime soon.
And by the way…this is no sophomore slump…it’s a sophomore triumph.
Stand-Out Tracks: “Dreams Come True”, “Can’t Deny My Love”, “I Can Change”, “Lonely Town”, “Between Me and You”.
Your Homegurl for Life™,