Style: Synth rock; compare to The Hold Steady, M83, and The Killers
Top tracks: "Hard Enough," "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas," "Crossfire"
Brandon Flowers has a love-hate relationship with Las Vegas. "Looking for shade no palm tree can provide" he sings on the opening track, voice warbling like Roy Orbison. The Killers frontman, a practicing Mormon, pulls the curtains back on his hometown by addressing themes of redemption and salvation in the midst of "10,000 demons" and abject depravity. The brilliant chiming piano on "Only the Young," resuscitating BVGs on "Hard Enough" (thanks to Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley), and streamlined adult-rock production (Daniel Lanois, Brendan O'Brien) become a musical invocation. Flamingo is an infectious first solo effort—even if the ultimate answers are a bit vague.1