Gary Flockhart: Brandon Flowers still dancing

Brandon Flowers. Picture: Comp
Brandon Flowers. Picture: Comp
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ON Human, The Killers’ 2008 hit, Brandon Flowers asked, ‘Are we human or are we dancer?”

Back then we had no idea what he was on about, but if his infectious and extremely radio friendly new solo album is anything to go by, then he is definitely dancer - and you probably will be too when you hear it.

It’s 11 years since The Killers burst onto the scene with their synth-heavy, 80s-influenced debut, Hot Fuss. And ever since then a portion of the Las Vegas foursome’s fanbase have longed for them to re-embrace their poppier side, having ditched it in favour of sweeping, widescreen Americana and more classic rock influences.

Those fans will be pleased to hear Flowers, who visits the Usher Hall on Monday night, say that his second solo album is “what The Killers were supposed to do on our second album”.

“Right when I started doing interviews [to promote The Desired Effect], I realised I’d made The Killers’ second record,” says everyone’s favourite Mormon musician. “I mean, I made what we were supposed to do on our second album.”

Speaking about the band’s decision to ditch disco, guyliner and sequinned coats for facial hair and a much grittier sound, Flowers says, “Sometimes you want to be more macho and want the word ‘rock’ next to your name. But I’m not ashamed of it or anything. I love pop music. And I definitely have a knack for it.”

That he does, and with the help of Grammy-winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid and guest musicians such as Bruce Hornsby and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, the man who penned hits like Somebody Told Me and Mr Brightside dives unabashedly back into pop on his second solo album.

No shrinking violet, Flowers is convinced that every one of the album’s 10 tracks could be a single and, as arrogant as that sounds, it’s hard to argue. This is one of the best pop albums of recent years and it will have the ‘desired effect” on fans.