The Desired Effect

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The Desired Effect
Brandon Flowers - The Desired Effect.png
Studio album by Brandon Flowers
Released May 15, 2015 (2015-05-15)
Recorded 2014–2015
Length 39:05
Label Island
Brandon Flowers chronology
The Desired Effect
Singles from The Desired Effect
  1. "Can't Deny My Love"
    Released: March 23, 2015
  2. "Still Want You"
    Released: April 13, 2015
  3. "Lonely Town"
    Released: April 27, 2015
  4. "I Can Change"
    Released: May 4, 2015

The Desired Effect is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter and The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers. It was released on May 15, 2015, by Island Records. It was produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and Flowers and mixed by Alan Moulder.[5] The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, making it Flowers' sixth overall UK number-one record.


In 2010, Flowers released his debut solo album Flamingo under the production work of Daniel Lanois, Stuart Price, and Brendan O'Brien. Flamingo, a homage to Flowers' hometown of Las Vegas, topped the UK Albums Chart and included a top-10 single on the UK Singles Chart.[6] Flowers toured internationally in support of the album, receiving rave reviews for his live performances.[7][8] Flowers then put his solo career on hiatus while he pursued collaborations with The Killers including the UK number-one album Battle Born.[9]

In February 2015, Flowers released a teaser video on his website as well as a hand written note stating, "May 18, 2015 We will finally achieve The Desired Effect. Ariel and I have been collaborating in the studio, working together in the spirit of conversation, contention, and at long last, Sweet contrition. No one has yet seen or heard the change. But soon, we all will."[5][10]


The Desired Effect was recorded primarily at The Killers' studio, Battle Born Studios in Winchester, Nevada. The album was produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and mixed by Alan Moulder.[5] The album features notable musicians including Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys),[11] Bruce Hornsby, Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel), Carlos Alomar (David Bowie), Joey Waronker (Beck), Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp), Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. (The Killers), Angel Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors), and Danielle Haim (Haim).[12]


"Can't Deny My Love" was released as the lead single on March 23, 2015. It also served as an instant download for pre-orders of the album. Flowers released a series of promotional video clips announcing the single.[13][14][15][16][17] Flowers also released a series of promotional video clips announcing second single "Still Want You".[18][19][20][21][22] He released the music video exclusively on[23][24] A lyric video was released for "I Can Change".[25]

Flowers performed "Can't Deny My Love" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 23, 2015.[26] He performed both "Can't Deny My Love" and "Lonely Town" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 7.[27] On May 13, he appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden to perform "Lonely Town".[28] Two days later, on May 15, Flowers performed "I Can Change" on The Graham Norton Show.[29] On May 20, Flowers performed a set at Maida Vale Studios on BBC Radio 2 Live Session with Jo Whiley;[30] The Desired Effect was featured the record of the week (May 9)[31] Flowers performed "Can't Deny My Love", "Lonely Town", and "Still Want You" on DirecTV's Guitar Center Sessions on May 29, hosted by Nic Harcourt.[32] He performed "Still Want You" on the Strictly Come Dancing results show on November 15.[33]

In March 2015, Flowers announced a European leg of The Desired Effect Tour in promotion of the album. The leg began in Dublin, Ireland on May 19, and moved onto the UK starting in London on May 21. On tour Flowers was joined by guests on stage including Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and Bernard Sumner of New Order.[34][35] In April 2015, Flowers announced a North American solo tour, which ran from July 27 through October 1.[36][37][38] He also performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and at Life Is Beautiful.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[40]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[41]
The Guardian4/5 stars[2]
The Independent4/5 stars[4]
Mojo4/5 stars
Q4/5 stars
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[43]

The Desired Effect received critical acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 75, based on 25 reviews.[39] Matt Yates of Q wrote, "Big, bold and joyful, it's exactly what a great pop album should be." Neil McCormick of The Sunday Telegraph called it a "set of perfectly honed pop-rock burnished with immense choruses" and wrote that, "every track offers up a smart blend of snappy lyrics and catchy hooks."[45] Mark Beaumont for NME wrote, "The Desired Effect is a consistently impressive collection."[46] Sarah Jamieson of DIY wrote "Brandon is still very much the star of this show... he's always been at his most comfortable creating huge pop songs and with his last solo effort, he proved to do just that."[47]

In a five star review, Adrian Thrills of Daily Mail wrote that, "In tandem with his day job fronting The Killers, Flowers has a serious solo career."[48] Andy Gill of The Independent called it "a series of huge-sounding, stadium-ready pop anthems of undeniable charm."[4] Lewis Corner of Digital Spy called it, "an astute and vivid record."[49] Music blog Press Play gave the album a 4/5 rating and expressed surprise at the quality of the record stating that it is Flowers best album since Hot Fuss.[50] Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe wrote, "The other predicted effect of the album? A desire to play it repeatedly."[51] Darryl Sterdan of The Observer wrote, "Worth your time."[52] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone wrote, "The Desired Effect is something rare—the best straight-up pop album made by a rock star in recent memory."[53]

The album won the 2015 AML Award in the "Lyrics" category.[54]


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Daily Herald United States Albums of the (half) year[55] 2015 N/A
DIY United Kingdom The DIY List 2015: The Year In Music (100 Best Albums of 2015)[56] 2015
Gigwise United Kingdom Gigwise's Albums of the Year[57] 2015
Idolator United States 2015's Best Albums: Idolator Editors Pick Their Favorite 15[58] 2015
Los Angeles Times United States Best of 2015: 10 Great Pop Albums from 2015[59] 2015 N/A
Mashable United States The 30 Best Albums of 2015[60] 2015
NME United Kingdom 50 New Records You Need to Hear In 2015[61] 2015 N/A
PopCrush United States Best Albums of 2015 (So Far)[62] 2015
The San Francisco Examiner United States 2015's Top Albums[63] 2015
Spin United States The 25 Best Pop Albums of 2015[64] 2015
Stereogum United States The 50 Best Albums of 2015 So Far[65] 2015 N/A
The Sun United Kingdom Album of the Year[66] 2015 N/A
USA Today United States The 10 Best Albums of 2015 So Far[67] 2015

Commercial performance[edit]

The Desired Effect debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with first week sales of 31,077 copies, making it Flowers' second solo number one album and sixth overall, including work by the Killers.[68] In the United States, the album sold the seventh most copies its debut week, but due to the inclusion of streaming data, it charted at number 17. At the mid-year mark, the album was the 38th best-selling album of the year in the UK.[69]

Single "I Can Change" charted on the UK Singles and Irish Singles charts. Singles "Can't Deny My Love" and "Lonely Town" charted on the US Hot Rock Songs chart. The album was certified Gold by the BPI in April 2017.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, except "The Way It's Always Been" produced by Brandon Flowers and "Btwn Me 'n U" produced by Robert Root.

1."Dreams Come True"Flowers4:03
2."Can't Deny My Love"3:42
3."I Can Change"4:18
4."Still Want You"Flowers3:11
5."Between Me and You"Flowers4:39
6."Lonely Town"Flowers3:30
7."Diggin' Up the Heart"Flowers3:49
8."Never Get You Right"3:43
9."Untangled Love"4:11
10."The Way It's Always Been"3:59

Sample credits


Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Desired Effect.[70]

Recorded and engineered at:

  • Winchester, Nevada (Battle Born Studios)
  • Los Angeles, California (Vox Studios, Heavy Duty Studios)

Primary artist(s)





Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[91] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Edition(s) Label
Ireland May 15, 2015 Standard Island
United Kingdom May 18, 2015
United States May 19, 2015


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