“The Desired Effect” by Brandon Flowers: Album Review

The Desired Effect was released this week, and its finally time for the review of it to go up since I’ve managed to get out of the initial new music mania that accompanies the release of a well liked artist. The Desired Effect has  been something I’ve waited for for a few months now, and I don’t want to put off the review any longer, so onwards we go!

“Dreams Come True” opens the album with a sort of magic sparkling sound and a rapid and loud guitar. The vocals blend easily with the texture of the music, and the quick pace really drives the song along. Despite the quick sound, the vocals manage to paint an illusion of a slower chant. It’s an attention grabbing song that is perfect to open the album, blending in a variety of sounds and effects while keeping to the same fast but slow feeling it opened with. It certainly sets the stage for the album, and leaves the listener waiting to hear what sounds will be sprinkled through the other songs. “Can’t Deny My Love” and “I Can Change” have both been previously reviewed by me here on Music Unlabeled. “Still Want You”, originally written around the development of Battle Born, begins with soft percussion sounds that lead into a more erratic, electric melody. The vocals even out the wildness of the backing instruments and bring the song to a more unanimous sound. “Between Me and You” starts quietly, with the vocals leading into to the slow melody as the song builds up. It’s a nice compliment to the faster paced songs that have made up the album so far. It has a soft energy that builds over the course of the song, but it never gets too quick paced. It’s a sweet and quiet song that compliments the rest of the album perfectly.  “Lonely Town” opens with a more groovy sound that blends easily into the vocals. Its a song that’s very easy to dance to, and the vocals take on both a bigger presence and an electronic song throughout the song. towards the end the vocals build an eerie connotation to the song, and the entire song becomes incredibly layered and dynamic, causing the last minute cut to simplicity to be even more stark and noticeable.

“Diggin’ Up the Heart” starts with a dissonant melody that’s quickly overpowered by drums and loud vocals that quickly move the song along its path. The song is incredibly fast paced and has a slight touch of country effects, blending them together with some sounds that are reminiscent of the titular track from Footloose. It’s never drops in energy through out the entire length and holds the attention really well.  “Never Get You Right” opens with a slower pace, and steadily paced vocals that carry and build the simpler song as it builds at a steady pace. It’s evocative and draws the listener into it, pulling them along with every simple turn of the song as it winds its way through the ears and into the soul. It’s a slower pace, but it holds so much that you barely notice how slow it is because it seems so much longer without feeling like it drags. it’s positively gorgeous.  “Untangled Love” begins quietly and vocally driven, using a mix of guitars and drums to start the build, easing the vocals into joining them shortly before the song positively blooms with both instruments and vocals as it drives itself along at a quicker pace. It’s another evocative song off of an album that’s been a wonderful ride of emotions throughout. It certainly leaves the listener wondering how the album is going to wrap itself up when its built itself up so fantastically through the all nine tracks. “The Way It’s Always Been” is the tenth and final song on the album, barring the extra two songs (“Btwn Me ‘N U” and “The Desired Effect”) available on the deluxe version. “The Way It’s Always Been” starts off with a quieter and slower groove that lets the vocals stand out starkly against them. The build is subtle and quiet, with the biggest sign being a moment of bigger vocals that herald a slightly pick up in the backing music. The build continues bit by bit, but the pacing stays relatively the same. The song experiments with a variety of effects, making the vocals and music seem distant for a moment before amping up the sound noticeably, keeping to the same steady pace even though there’s so much more to the song than there was in the first song. It’s the perfect blend of the other tracks, and captures the entire energy build of the album within itself, and honestly wraps up the album completely neatly.

The Desired Effect had a hefty amount of expectations put towards it, but it seems to have delivered wonderfully. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it and I definitely recommend putting some time aside to listen to it in it’s entirety. I can’t wait to here about the next project from The Killers or from Brandon Flowers, but for now i’m more than happy with this album.

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