Las Vegas band The Killers are not new to extended periods of hiatus. Their last album Battle Born, released in 2012, was both preceded and followed by the band taking a break from collaborating, much to the fans’ dismay. As any Killers loyalist will say, it’s difficult to be a fan with gaps of up to four years between albums. To ease their pain, however, charismatic front man Brandon Flowers has once again made it his duty to fill the void with a solo-album, The Desired Effect (2015).
Similar to Flamingo, released in 2010, The Desired Effect sounds very much like The Killers’ work, even without the contributions of the other three members. The bouncy melodies with their signature feel of a flamboyant Western, the heavy use of synthesizers, and of course, Brandon’s iconic voice—all the best elements of a Killers album are there. Brandon also instils the album with a certain energy, with catchy lyrics and memorable tunes in just about every song. Put simply, there isn’t a dull moment where the album slows down—it’s an exciting journey from start to end.
However, the one thing which brings the album down is the very similar theme to all the songs. As with Battle Born and Flamingo too many of the songs are essentially love songs—‘Untangled Love’, ‘Can’t Deny my Love’, ‘Diggin’ Up The Heart’ to name a few—and this new direction, with slower more melodic choruses, differs significantly from the more rock-oriented early albums of The Killers, such as Hot Fuss (2004) or Sam’s Town (2006). At least one or two songs with more of a rock-theme would have improved the album’s effect greatly, and pleased the older fans who fell in love with the band for their 2004 sound.
3.5 out of 5 stars