Brandon Flowers, ‘The Desired Effect’


Aidin Vaziri | Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of the Killers, doesn’t use his solo albums to indulge a secret love of zouk or rumba. Instead, he just delves further into the glossy ’80s pop sounds that have always flowed through his band. His second full-length release, “The Desired Effect,” is significantly slicker than the Killers’ most recent work — and frankly better — conjuring the melodramatic synth-pop of bands such as Wang Chung, Pet Shop Boys (who make a cameo on the album) and Bronski Beat (who Flowers exquisitely samples on the elegiac “I Can Change”). With production assistance from Ariel Rechtshaid (Vampire Weekend, Charlie XCX), the tropical “Still Want You” takes its lyrical lead straight out of Simon Le Bon’s notebook (“Nuclear distress, I still want you”), while the shadowy “Lonely Town” finds Flowers, 33, wrapping his lithe voice around a Springsteen-caliber melody. It’s not bad. Not bad at all.