I first heard “Only The Young” from Brandon Flowers’ new solo album last week, and I was completely entranced. It had such a relaxing, Annie Lennox-ish rolling pop vibe and the video was beautiful and flowing. In the following days I have seen several conversations arise in some Mormon circles (including our new friends at This Week in Mormons) over whether or not the video contained “Mormon imagery.”
I bought the album on my way to class (despite being late) at a local CD shop near campus, and gave it a listen that afternoon. I was floored. The music was indeed good, but the most striking thing to me was the fact that the album is a long tale of redemptive explicit spirituality, and it was obviously intended to be interpreted so. Leave it to Mormons to overlook an entirely and intentionally spiritual album, straining over whether an image of Brandon Flowers in a pool of light has something to do with Joseph Smith.
Yet it’s a pretty well-accepted fact that, once you explain a joke, it completely destroys the chance that joke had at ever being funny. Likewise, I think that the spiritual tale contained in Flamingo really works best without extracting and exposing it, because I’m not sure it would stand as well on its own. However, being that I’m the creator and owner of the only website online devoted to promoting Mormons in the world of music, I guess that means I should at least share my thoughts. I’m happy to oblige. Rather than destructively over-analyzing his lyrics, I’ll just post excerpts (as well as I can hear them) and let you figure it out.
Flamingo is a loose tribute to Western Americana, a cautionary tale of the wonders and pitfalls of Las Vegas, and a curious insight into the spiritual battles happening there and in Brandon Flowers’ mind. It’s an ambitious conglomerate of ideas, for sure, and Flowers may not have quite reached his lofty goal, but he actually said more in trying than I really would have expected. I never did listen to The Killers too much (they really peaked when I was on my mission and I never got caught up), so I can’t provide a meaningful comparison to that, but Brandon Flowers has proven himself to be a far more spiritual being than I knowingly gave him credit for. Continue reading “Brandon Flowers – Flamingo review”