Archives for posts with tag: Brandon Flowers

the killers

Opinion
By James Pavel

5. Shot at the Night

Imperial 80’s magic blazes through the Nevada skies during this triumphant return to glory. It’s a song suitable for the soundtrack of 16 Candles or The Breakfast Club, only arriving 30 years too late. “Shot at the Night” states that The Killers are indeed conscious of what’s trending, demonstrated by the wise recruitment of French wizards, M83 for production value. It’s their most fierce single since the Sam’s Town masterpiece and delivers a sparkle of light to make one wonder if maybe the Killers haven’t completely exhausted their creative mojo.

4. Read my Mind

Besides, “The Stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun” being the most ridiculously awesome line ever, this is the song that every synth-obsessed band drools over constructing.  It’s the American dream condensed into one soothing spectacle seen through the red, white and blue pupils of the ΰbber-patriotic Brandon Flowers.  Music snobs hate to admit that this song engulfs the sky with the same colour of flame that any of Bruce Springsteen’s gems have managed to shower over audiences in the past. It’s as if Springsteen seduced Robert Smith and The Cure with cheap wine and a Las Vegas sunset, and nine months later, out came “Read my Mind.”

3. Mr. Brightside

Morrissey and U2, two of the Killers’ all-time heroes, have longed written as inconspicuously as possible in order to reach the broadest fan base possible. Brandon Flowers decided to do the exact opposite by shredding his personal diary of vulnerable entries and creating one of the defining pop/rock anthems of the 2000s, Mr. Brightside. Crowds erupt like the presence of a King the moment Dave Kneuning’s finger tips brush his electric guitar and gives passage to the world of sick lullabies and temporary persecution. Flowers is as dramatic as a drunken valley girl, but his conviction is real, and the success of this smash hit is his vindication.

2. When You Were Young

‘”When you were Young” made it official that The Killers would never just be remembered for one record. The song is a God-fearing, hurricane-chasing, tsunami of rock n’ roll all in the name of proving that they were not pseudo-Brits, but instead four Americans born and bred in the heart of the desert. The sonic energy of this rattle snake has enough soul surging through its core to transport an audience to the moon and back but they settle for a legacy-shifting moment. “The devil’s water it ain’t so sweet, you don’t have to drink right now,” is the ultimate “feels so good to be bad” lyric and for a brief pause, we really believe Brandon Flowers  is the only rock star that ever mattered.

1. All These Things That I’ve Done

It’s a song that transcends the band and is bigger than the group itself. If nobody remembers the Killers in 20 years, they will still remember this one. It’s profoundly deep for a pop song, as Brandon’s semi-sinister confessions are spoken aloud to the millions that allowed the Hot Fuss album to help define their mid-2000s experience. “I got Soul, but I’m not a Soldier,” is silly, ostentatious, confusing, and yet probably the most addictive and pulsating middle refrain written in pop-rock history.

Advertisements

Opinion
By James Pavel

Fallout Boy lead singer Patrick Stump had a recent meltdown of nuclear proportions over his blog this past week, when he referred to himself as a “27-year-old has been.” The source of his misery is the commercial flop of his solo album “Soul Punk,” but also the ridicule that he experienced while touring his latest work.

Stump goes into detail over the ruthlessness of his supposed fans explaining that many declared they liked him “better when he was fat,” and that he “sucks without Fallout Boy.”

Firstly, it is disappointing and depressing to hear that fans would torment an artist in such a ruthless manner. But secondly, it is unbelievable how one of the more promising up-and-coming groups of the mid 2000s could have such a drastic collapse. It was only back in 2004 when fans were discussing who would become a bigger group: The Killers or Fallout Boy.

Killers’ front man Brandon Flowers publicly insulted not only Fallout Boy but all of the fleetingly-popular Emo groups back in 2006 explaining to NME Magazine, “You don’t realize what you could be getting yourselves into with Fall Out Boy and what kind of impact it could have in a way that you don’t really want. … Culturally, if it gets as big as it is in America, it could change an entire generation of people growing up here. Emo, pop-punk, whatever you want to call it, is dangerous. We don’t wanna dislike anyone, and we’ve still never met Fall Out Boy, but there’s a creature inside me that wants to beat all those bands to death.” (www.stereogum.com, retrieved February 29, 2012.)

Of course Flowers later retracted the statements, but the flood gates were open to the debate as to what band could stand the test of time. Both bands would continue to release albums after the underwhelming fireworks to varying degrees of success. The true examination came when the two lead singers, Stump and Flowers released solo albums. Flowers released “Flamingo,” in 2010 while Stump dropped “Soul Punk” in 2011.

Flamingo was not a global-dominating sensation by any means, but it was successful enough to have validated him as one of the most recognizable, and notorious front men of rock n’ roll. While Flowers’ album sounded more or less like the Killers taking a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, Stump took a radically different approach.

Stump transformed his image from being a pot-bellied,side-burn rockin’ second fiddle to over-rated Pete Wentz, into a slim, trim, Michael Jackson-sounding lead man. The makeover indicated that Stump was prepared to be taken seriously as a solo artist, but that he was also forging a completely new sound for his surprised audience.

Unfortunately, Stump’s work failed to catch on not only in mainstream, but with any identifiable demographic. Stump’s built-in fan base from Fallout Boy appeared to have completely deserted him after he chose to dump the pop-punk sound in favour of a more mature take on music. Nobody seems to be more aware of this inadequacy than Stump himself. Stump mentioned that he has recorded a follow-up to “Soul Punk” but is hesitant to release the material for what sounds like fear of more ridicule.

Yes, the Emo pot has rapidly evaporated as the only groups to still remain from this scene are The Killers and My Chemical Romance, who both have successfully evolved relatively unscathed.  Stump mentioned that he would be more than willing to reunite with Fallout Boy, who technically are not broken up, yet currently have all the attributes that point to a band in need of serious reconciliation.

Why Stump is so shamelessly sensitive about the matter is likely because of the fact that “Soul Punk” is his creation from start to finish. Flowers had plenty of production help and even had members of the Killers play on a few of the tracks, but Stump performed every instrument and wrote every lyric of his debut album.

It was a project that he clearly poured his entire existence into, yet the overall feedback has been devastating. The road for Stump seems to be difficult to determine. He mentioned that he may look into seeking training in the trades, as he is completely discouraged from music at the moment.

His former competition Brandon Flowers meanwhile, is in the recording studio preparing for what could be a defining album of the Killers’ successful career.

What a difference 8 years can make indeed.