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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/c186075a0dd744079966f11665b317194e613ff7.jpg Flamingo

Brandon Flowers

Flamingo

Island
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
September 14, 2010

The beautiful losers that populate Brandon Flowers' songs haven't got it easy. When they're not "playing with fire . . . out on a wire" ("Playing With Fire"), they're "caught up in the crossfire of heaven and hell" ("Crossfire"). As lead singer and main songwriter for the Killers, Flowers has become our staunchest Born to Run-era Bruce Springsteen revivalist, and on his first album as a solo artist he pumps up the pomp, delivering surging synth-rock crescendos and belting out lyrics like "Woke up in the rusted frame of a burned-out old DeVille" ("Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas"). 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.

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    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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