Brandon Flowers’ second UK single from his début solo album, the flamboyantly-titled ‘Flamingo’, was originally going to be the sublime, five-star masterpiece that is ‘Only The Young’. However, songs like ‘Only The Young’ can be as sublime as they like, gently plodding through a peaceful, reflective Stuart Price production with an Edge-inspired guitar, but it doesn’t make them commercial. So let’s just pray that the reason it was cancelled ahead of it’s scheduled release last October was because Brandon and his record company found ‘Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts’ to be more commercial. Even so, that still didn’t explain why they took so long to release this one: there doesn’t seem to be much hope around Brandon’s solo career anymore.
And commercial it is – not sell-out commercial, can we just establish before we progress any further please? But it is guaranteed to sell more than ‘Only The Young’. In fact, it’s probably even stronger than ‘Crossfire’.
‘Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts’ sees Brandon filter more of The Killers through than any of his other solo material. The song is packed with old rock-styled hooks and a thumping beat with elements of synth-rock integrated. It’s backed up with lyricism that leaves the listener with the slightly confused impression that Brandon got a little over-excited by patriotism and his Bible, though – “You did a fine job of hiding/That crooked Ace up your sleeve/You doubled down my direction/You kiss me on the cheek and leave”, giving the impression the song is like one big Poker Tournament meets The Last Supper, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, that’s for sure, but it does close off any chance of it being on of those song you listen to for lyrical relation.
Musically, it channels Springsteen at times; U2’s rockiest moments and a bit of The Killers’ own synth-rock towards the end. Over the space of four minutes, forty-four seconds, Brandon’s intriguing introduction has rampaged through chorus after chorus, getting bigger each time, until the finale, clearly signalled by an seemingly out of context “Yeah!”, which is then cue for some gliding synths to join the fun.
It’s a very odd song actually – you find yourself contented that someone has managed to channel rock back into the same old, same old electropop, but then again, it’s very rough around the edges, y’know? And not rough around the edges in the same a Bob Dylan song is – ‘Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts’ gives the impression it wants to be perfect, like it wants to convey a bald statement of emotion, rejection and loss and yet, it just doesn’t quite have the steam to do so. It’s easily listenable with it’s anthemic chorus, countless hooks and apparently meaningless lyricism, but it’s just not that… ‘good’ at doing what it appears to have set out to do.
Clearly, Brandon and his label aren’t too fussed about the success (or lack thereof) of this single now that The Killers have announced their return from hiatus, so they haven’t bothered to make a video for it, despite having one for ‘Only The Young’, despite cancelling that release nearly five months ago. Well, waste not want not – here’s the hugely expensive video for ‘Only The Young’:
Interesting dance moves, Brandon.
When you think about it, ‘Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts’ is a very strong musical effort with clear intentions, however, it seems that in the quest to integrate as much religion-meets-Las Vegas as possible, Brandon appears to have forgotten about the listener. I guess, at the end of the day, it’s just got to be realised that singing a song about a city as distasteful as Las Vegas isn’t going to make said song as exciting and as inspiring and as “cherry on top” as Las Vegas claims to be, much rather the seedier, stingier side.
Rating: 3.0 STARS
Download: February 21, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Flamingo’