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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Review: Brandon Flowers: Flamingo

While The Killers take a break, lead singer and songwriter, Brandon Flowers decided the draw of the studio was too much, and produced Flamingo, his debut solo album, which wades through the genres and carefully selects the very best to coalesce.

Flamingo: Deluxe Edition

Opener, Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas is exactly what it says on the tin; a stirring introduction to the bright-lights-even-bigger-city album. This salute to Flowers’ hometown weighs up the city of “dreamers, harlots and sins” with a fantastic, elating song which fizzes with tension and explodes in a joyous chorus. Vegas is a main theme of Flamingo: gambling, religion and love.

Oh, and rock ‘n’ roll!

Most notably, Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts has the feel of a casino; tense and fast, with allusions of underhandedness. It indulges in its genre, but not to the same extent as Playing With Fire. Teaming up with Killers drummer, Ronnie Vannucci, it harks back to the classic rock era, and it’s pretty heavy – but likable – stuff. Was It Something I Said balances it out, if you ignore its sad theme.

Magdalena continues its upbeat tone, with a fast rhythm with twangs of country music. Based on the story of a crusade, it feels like a journey to the exploding chorus and final verse.

Hard Enough – a duet with Jenny Lewis – is gentle and sweet; the two have beautifully complimenting voices that bring out strong emotion.

Crossfire is, quite simply, beautiful; enough to give anybody goose bumps with its mix of fairytale and rock. The second single released is Only the Young, a perfect candidate. Memorable lyrics and strong beat lends itself to the charts, as does its current, electro-pop backing.

On the Floor has been likened to gospel a couple of times, unnecessarily negatively. At worse, it’s a gentle interlude, but at best, it’s both sad and joyous. Continuing its upbeat nature, Swallow It has a strong beat, with elements of classic pop-rock. It might feel like an abrupt ending, though, so…

Now to the bonus songs, exclusive to the deluxe version.

The Clock Was Tickin’ dips even deeper into country music, but is surely one of the best of the whole album. It has an appreciative nature, telling the story of one man’s life. The fast pace finally gives way to a slow sadness, as his sweetheart dies. Like much of Flamingo, its main message is to enjoy life.

Jacksonville is promising from the get-go; a heavy drumbeat welcomes us in, as layers of tensions build, while I Came Here To Get Over You contains further elements of rock. Drums and guitar bounce off each other wonderfully, as a whisper of electro-pop is introduced into the background.

As the album’s final song, Right Behind You is fantastically understated, but is actually quite elating in its message and values. Fading with a honky-tonk piano, Flowers makes it clear that it’s not all bright lights; the little things are what’s important.

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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Unpublished work

 

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Online nonsense

Hello everyone!

How have you been keeping? Good? Good. Me? Yeah, fine, ta.

I’ve been busy setting up some website nonsense, actually. Yeah, it’s gone well, thanks. Twitter’s not as bad as I thought:

Twitter profile

 http://twitter.com/prbates36

Why, yes, I am following Steven Moffat and Stan “The Man” Lee. Speaking of which, I am still regularly updating my Marvel Omnibus blog. Yeah, take a look sometime:

 http://marvelomnibus.wordpress.com/

 There’s quite a few crazy online activities going on, huh? Yeah, but I’ve got a, sort of, base for it all now:

Moonfruit homepage

http://prbates.moonfruit.com/

There’s a bit of a portfolio there, and I update it with the latest goings-on when I have a free minute. No, don’t worry; this is still where most of my online work will reside. It’s just now got a cousin, or something like that.

 Oh, the course is going well too. Essays galore at the minute, but I still have some spare time to watch Doctor Who, never you mind!

But enough about me; what about you? Oh. Oh, you’ve gone. Okay. Fine. Whatever.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Mack A-Mania

Well, it’s been a while. But I have been busy. Promise.

I went to see my favourite comedian, Lee Mack, in November, and loved every second. So I quickly knocked out a couple of reviews and the kind folks at Bristol247 and Guide2Bristol deemed them suitable for publication! You can find them here:

http://www.bristol247.com/2010/11/23/lee-mack-full-of-enthusiasm-energy-and-cheeky-charm/

Lee Mack Bristol247 Review

And here:

http://www.guide2bristol.com/news/1028/Bristol-comedy-review-Lee-Mack-Going-Out-Tour-Colston-Hall

Lee Mack Guide2Bristol Review

But that’s not all. I seem to have fallen into a comedy niche; quite accidental, but very enjoyable anyway. I found myself previewing the Slapstick Festival in Bristol, which can be found at:

http://www.bristol247.com/2011/01/24/bristol-slapstick-festival-returns-with-tribute-to-chaplin/

Slapstick Festival Bristol247 preview

Plus, I’ve been lucky enough to have a preview of Micky Flanagan’s new tour – ‘Out Out’ – printed in last week’s Weston Mercury (dated 10th February 2011). Here’s a photocopy of the article, which can be found on page 47:

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

I have a couple of other comedy-related articles in the mix at the minute, so I’ll keep you updated on that.

Come back soon for more updates on a few websites and a bit of social networking!

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2011 in Published work

 

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