Breaking away from a band that is already on top of the musical world and trying to go it alone is always going to be a risk; fans will long for the sound of previous hits, whereas critics will scrutinise any similarities. With ‘Crossfire’, Brandon Flowers’ first offering from debut solo album Flamingo, the latter is difficult to avoid. The song wouldn’t sound out of place on a Killers album, with those familiar synth melodies from recent hits back again, and Flowers’ vocal work offering nothing new to what we’ve heard before from his band.
But this rather begs the question of what exactly is to be achieved from solo work? If it’s simply to write good songs, then ‘Crossfire’ is a success. The song is a perfect example of pop-rock, shifting from delicate verses made up of actually very little, to full-on choruses where synths and guitars combine with Flowers’ great voice to carry the song forward, creating catchy patterns along the way.
But if the idea is to move on and become disassociated from previous work within the space of the new solo music, then ‘Crossfire’ makes very little progress. True that the rocky edge of Killers songs has disappeared slightly, with distorted guitars and thrashy drums fading into the background to put more focus on the vocals, but the basic sound is still there.