When Brandon Flowers played a demo of his song titled “Still Want You” for Ariel Rechtshaid, a record producer, he was almost certain that he would get the same reaction that he had already received from others who had heard it, including his fellow band members. However, his confidence was won over when Rechtshaid said that he liked the song.
Flowers recently stated, “I was kind of reluctant to play it. But Ariel loved it right away.” According to the 21 May 2015 online edition of the LA Times, “Still Want You” is “a deeply earnest tune about holding on to love in the face of “climate change” and “nuclear distress.”” The song was originally written for the Killers 2012 record “Battle Born.”
Taking His Music in a New Direction
The fact that Rechtshaid actually liked the song was a sign to Flowers that he was the right person to collaborate with on his new solo album, “The Desired Effect.” Working with Rechtshaid, who is known for his ingenious work with such musicians as Vampire Weekend and the Los Angeles sister trio Haim, was a new venture for 33-year-old Flowers, as in the past he has collaborated with people such as Daniel Lanois, Flood, and Steve Lillywhite, who are all veterans of the U2’s late 80s and early 90s era. According to the LA Times article:
The change in personnel inspired a welcome creative shift: Rather than build on Flowers’ reputation for sweeping, ultra-dramatic arena rock, “The Desired Effect” (which came out Monday, 18 May 2015) goes smaller and more personal, with weirder, funkier arrangements and lyrics that reflect his upbringing as a Mormon in Las Vegas and his life as the married father of three young children.
Kenny Aronoff, known for his drumming on John Mellencamp’s early-’80s hits, and pianist Bruce Hornsby are two featured musicians on the new album. Flowers admits that “It’s not as grandiose as some of the stuff I’ve gone for before.” The reason for that is, with the production of this new album, Rechtshaid’s objective was, “Let’s try to make the world know who you really are,” and the tracks selected for the album such as “Dreams Come True,” “Lonely Town,” “Life without you around,” and “The Way It’s Always Been” certainly achieve that objective.
On adapting the album’s relatively intimate songs to the stage, Flowers commented, “A good song is a good song, and a small song can become a big song. I’m so used to having these giant choruses and kind of going for it. But I feel like something like ‘Lonely Town’ could translate in a big arena.”