Flamingo (Brandon Flowers album)

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Flamingo
Brandon Flowers - Flamingo.png
Studio album by Brandon Flowers
Released September 3, 2010 (2010-09-03)
Recorded April 2010
Studio Battle Born Studios
(Winchester, Nevada)
Henson Recording Studios
(Hollywood, California)
Genre
Length 53:05
Label Island
Producer
Brandon Flowers chronology
Flamingo
(2010)
The Desired Effect
(2015)
Singles from Flamingo
  1. "Crossfire"
    Released: June 21, 2010
  2. "Only the Young"
    Released: October 12, 2010
  3. "Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts"
    Released: February 21, 2011[4]

Flamingo is the debut solo studio album by American singer-songwriter and The Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers. It was released on September 3, 2010, by Island Records.[5] It was recorded at Battle Born Studios in Winchester, Nevada, and Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.[6] The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart.[7]

Background[edit]

After a mysterious countdown on The Killers' official website, Flowers confirmed on April 29, 2010, that he would be releasing a solo album titled Flamingo.[8] The album is named after Flamingo Road (in Brandon's hometown of Las Vegas), where many pivotal events in his life occurred: Sam's Town Casino is on Flamingo, his first job was at a golf course on that road, and he met his wife in a thrift store on the road as well.a[›][9][10]

The track "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" references the Las Vegas Boulevard ("The Strip"). "Was It Something I Said?" references Tropicana Avenue and a job at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas located on the Fremont Street Experience. Track "Magdalena" references a 60-mile pilgrimage from Nogales to Magdalena in Sonora, Mexico.

Recording[edit]

The album was recorded primarily at Battle Born Studios in Winchester, Nevada. It was produced and mixed by Stuart Price, Daniel Lanois, and Brendan O'Brien.[11] "Hard Enough" features a duet with Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis.[11] "Fabulous Las Vegas" features bandmate Dave Keuning, while "Playing with Fire" and "Crossfire" feature bandmate Ronnie Vannucci, Jr.

Promotion[edit]

The album's lead single "Crossfire" was premiered in the United Kingdom on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show on June 14, 2010. "Crossfire" was released soon after on June 21, 2010, in the United States and Canada via iTunes, and on August 23, 2010, in the United Kingdom.[5][12][13] "Swallow It" was released as a promotional track from the album on August 24, 2010, via iTunes.[14] "Only the Young" was released as the album's second single on October 12, 2010. An accompanying music video—filmed at Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas—premiered online on October 5, 2010, and was directed by Sophie Muller, who worked on the American video for "Mr. Brightside".[15]

Flowers performed "Crossfire" on Alan Carr: Chatty Man on September 1, 2010, and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 13.[16][17] On September 6, 2010, Flowers played a 10-song set at Maida Vale Studios on BBC Radio 1.[18] He performed both "Crossfire" and "Magdalena" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 14, 2010, and on Live from Abbey Road on July 20, 2011.[19][20] Flowers appeared on Later with Jools Holland on September 21, 2010, performing "Crossfire", "Only the Young", and "Magdalena".[21]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic59/100[22]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[23]
The A.V. ClubB−[24]
Billboard4/5 stars[25]
Entertainment WeeklyB[26]
The Guardian3/5 stars[27]
The Independent3/5 stars[28]
Mojo3/5 stars
Q3/5 stars
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[29]
Spin5/10[30]

Flamingo received mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 59, based on 25 reviews.[22] musicOMH published a positive review stating, "It's clear from Flamingo that Flowers accounts for the lion's share of talent in The Killers, and if they ever go on definite hiatus, their fans can look forward to more consistently good material in the form of Flowers' solo albums."[31] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone described Flowers' penchant for weaving beautiful losers into his songs by stating, "It would be laughable if Flowers wasn't 100 percent committed, and if the hooks on Flamingo weren't irresistible. He is, and they are - and you'll be too busy singing along to giggle."[32] Alix Buscovic of BBC compared tracks "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" and "Crossfire" to stadium albums Sam's Town and Day & Age and tracks "Magdalena" and "Was It Something I Said?" to 80s pop sensibility album Hot Fuss.[33] Ryan Dombal for The Village Voice described Flowers as "a combination of Bono's brassiness, Morrissey's high drama, and Ian Curtis's spasmodic awkwardness, the singer represents an endangered species in 2010: a genuine arena-ready rock-'n'-roll deity who, at 29, isn't yet on blood thinners."[34]

The album was ranked number thirty on Q's list of the 50 Best Albums of 2010.[35]

Commercial performance[edit]

On the UK Albums Chart, the album debuted at the number-one spot on September 12 and remained on the chart for 14 weeks.[36][37] As of May 2015, the album had sold 263,681 copies in the United Kingdom.[38]

On the US Billboard 200, Flamingo debuted at number eight, with 41,000 copies sold and remained on the chart for eight weeks.[39] The album has sold 137,000 copies in the US as of May 2015.[40]

The single "Crossfire" peaked in the top ten on the UK Singles Chart, Irish Singles Chart, Belgium Singles Chart (Flanders), and Billboard Alternative Songs Chart.

Covers[edit]

In 2015, Martin Gore of Depeche Mode covered "On the Floor" at a benefit with his son in Santa Barbara.[41] Fran Healy (Travis) covered "Crossfire" at The Sun's "Biz Sessions" in October 2010.[42]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas"Brandon FlowersBrendan O'Brien4:48
2."Only the Young"FlowersStuart Price4:19
3."Hard Enough" (featuring Jenny Lewis)
  • Price
  • Lanois
  • Flowers
4:05
4."Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts"
  • Flowers
  • Lanois
  • Price
  • Price
  • Lanois
  • Flowers
4:40
5."Playing with Fire"
  • Flowers
  • Lanois
  • Price
  • Lanois
  • Flowers
5:48
6."Was It Something I Said?"
  • Flowers
  • Lanois
  • Lewis
  • Price
  • Lanois
  • Flowers
3:19
7."Magdalena"FlowersO'Brien3:19
8."Crossfire"FlowersO'Brien4:18
9."On the Floor"Flowers
  • Price
  • Lanois
  • Flowers
3:23
10."Swallow It"Flowers
  • Price
  • Flowers
2:57
Total length:40:58

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the deluxe edition of Flamingo.[43]

  • Brandon Flowers – vocals (all tracks); synth (tracks 1–7, 10–14) arrangement (track 2); production (tracks 3–6, 9–14); piano (tracks 7, 8, 10); guitar (track 10)
  • Josh Baker – recording assistance (tracks 2–6, 9, 10, 12–14)
  • Darren Beckett – percussion (tracks 3–6, 9, 10, 11, 13); drums (tracks 3–6, 9, 10, 11–13); additional drums (track 14)
  • Jake Blanton – acoustic guitar, backing vocals, piano (track 11)
  • LaMont Brown – backing vocals (track 12)
  • Tara Bryan – A&R administration
  • Donald E. Chaney – backing vocals (track 12)
  • Martin Cooke – recording assistance (tracks 1, 7, 8)
  • Daniel de los Reyes – percussion (track 12)
  • Nicolas Essig – recording assistance (tracks 1, 7, 8)
  • Warren Fu – art direction, graphic design, label artwork
  • Herschel Gaer – acoustic guitar (track 4); bass (track 11)
  • Lucy Hamblin – cover and interior photography
  • Victor Indrizzo – drums (tracks 1, 7, 8)
  • Dave Keuning – guitar (track 1)
  • Daniel Lanois – guitar (tracks 1, 3, 4, 9); production (tracks 3–6, 9); dub sonics, pedal steel (track 5); Omnichord (track 6)
  • The Las Vegas Mass Choir – backing vocals (track 9)
  • Jenny Lewis – vocals (track 3)
  • Benji Lysaght – guitar (tracks 1, 3–5, 10, 11, 13); 12-string electric guitar (track 6); electric guitar (tracks 12, 14); pedal steel (track 14)
  • David Massey – A&R
  • Veronica "Lady V" Morton – backing vocals (track 14)
  • Brendan O'Brien – guitar, timpani, tubular bells (track 1); shaker, tambourine (tracks 1, 7); acoustic guitar, backing vocals, bass, production (tracks 1, 7, 8); castanets, hurdy-gurdy (track 7); electric guitar, mixing (tracks 7, 8); B-3, bells, percussion (track 8)
  • Stuart Price – guitar (tracks 1, 2); synth (tracks 1–4, 9, 10, 12–14); mixing (tracks 1–6, 9, 10); arrangement, slide guitar (track 2); bass (tracks 2–6, 10, 13); production (tracks 2–6, 9–14); programming (tracks 2, 5, 6, 9, 14)
  • Robert Reynolds – management
  • Robert Root – recording (tracks 2–6, 9, 11–14); additional recording (track 8); recording assistance (track 10)
  • James R. Smith – backing vocals (track 12)
  • Peter Stanislaus – recording assistance (tracks 1, 7, 8)
  • Tom Syrowski – recording (tracks 1, 7, 8)
  • Ronnie Vannucci Jr. – arrangement (track 2); drums, percussion (track 5)
  • Williams + Hirakawa – cover and interior photography
  • Kristen Yiengst – art and photography coordination
  • Tim Young – mastering

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Ireland (IRMA)[69] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[70] Gold 263,681[38]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date
Australia September 3, 2010
Germany
Netherlands
Ireland
United Kingdom September 6, 2010
United States September 14, 2010
Canada
Brazil September 21, 2010
France September 27, 2010

Notes[edit]

^ a: Although there is also a Flamingo Casino, Flowers has stated that it was not the inspiration for the title.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacBain, Hamish (September 6, 2010). "Album review: Brandon Flowers - Flamingo (Vertigo)". NME. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Ashman, Neil (September 2, 2010). "Brandon Flowers - Flamingo". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Derogatis, Katie (October 5, 2010). "Love Vegas? Watch Brandon Flowers' Opulent Tribute". Spin. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  4. ^ This Week's Releases: February 21, 2011 | News | NME.COM Archived February 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b "The Killers' Brandon Flowers announces solo album 'Flamingo' release date". NME. June 24, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "In The Studio – Brandon Flowers". Q. August 2010. p. 26.
  7. ^ "Brandon Flowers on going solo from The Killers with new album Flamingo - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  8. ^ "The Killers' Brandon Flowers confirms solo album release". NME. April 29, 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Brandon Flowers Best Buy Interview about Flamingo". YouTube. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  10. ^ Scaggs, Austin (June 25, 2010). "The Killers' Brandon Flowers: Why I'm Going Solo". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "The Killers' Brandon Flowers reveals solo album details – exclusive". NME. May 13, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  12. ^ Murray, Robin (June 15, 2010). "The Killers Singer Talks Solo Album". Clash. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  13. ^ "Brandon Flowers – Crossfire (Discography)". The Island Def Jam Music Group. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
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  20. ^ "Live from Abbey Road – 4oD – Channel 4". channel4.com.
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  23. ^ Thomas, Stephen. "Flamingo – Brandon Flowers". AllMusic. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
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  69. ^ "Irish album certifications – Brandon Flowers – Flamingo". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  70. ^ "British album certifications – Brandon Flowers – Flamingo". British Phonographic Industry. October 15, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2010. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Flamingo in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.