Brandon Flowers cannot sing!

How is it that the Killers is so huge when leadman Brandon Flowers can't sing?

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As we sit in our pyjamas, nursing heads full of cotton wool on this Saturday-like-so-many-others, it becomes clear that the Radar must get something off it’s chest.  It’s not about music in China, but it is something that has been bugging us for much of the 4 years since the sophomore release of the Killers first album, Hot Fuss.  How is it that a band can be so big when their lead singer cannot sing?

Brandon Flowers was everything that a front man should be when they burst onto the scene in 2004 – good looking, stylish, intelligent and he had that desire, that all-consuming burn to be the biggest, the best.  On the retro-80’s glam and jive of that first album (which was our album of the year that year, by the way) his voice seemed to work, even to help the music.

But in the interim, it has become apparent that the reed thin, tremulous larynx of Mr. Flowers is not cut out for anything bigger that your front room.  It’s not even that he sings a little bit off some of the time.  It is that he sings for the majority so incredibly flat and misses some notes by such a huge margin that it is actually painful to listen to him.  And so it is, on the eve of the release of their third studio album, that the radio subjects me to another hour and a half of Killers car-crash, and like the aforementioned pileup, I just cannot drag my ears away from it.  I still hope after seeing them in a small room and then headlining a festival, as well as enduring at least 3 full length live recordings, that something is wrong, and that he is suddenly going to say “Hey, I’m only joking.  I can actually sing these great songs really well”, but it still hasn’t happened, and it is becoming apparent that it never will.

Yet still we are considering them for an appearance here in China, some time in 2009 and in the same vein, they still seem to get the most incredible amount of support and media love.  Is it because everyone feels a bit sorry for them, or is it because everyone still loves them for Mr. Brightside and Somebody Told Me?  As the clock rolls towards midday here in China and even the guitarist seems to be hitting duff notes in this “Live from the Albert Hall in London”, we just wish someone would put them (and us) out of their misery.

  • mm

    This blog is a joke. Where does a bunch of chinks come off on music? It is always the people who can’t do anything that criticize the hardest.

  • admin

    Thanks for your comments. Slightly off base (the writer is Caucasian) and pretty racist, but we allow all sorts on this here blog.

  • Becca

    Brandon Flowers is a great singer!!! He is beautiful,stylish, and great!!!


  • Nishy

    Totally disagree with all the comments in this. I’m a HUGE killers fan and moving to Beijing in August. How likely is it that the boys will eventually do a show in China? How big are they in China? I’m from London and they come here all the time, so moving to somewhere where they have never been is sad! 🙁

  • admin

    Hi Nishy. Have you ever seen the Killers live? He sounds OK on album, but live, it’s a bit of a joke…

    We look forward to seeing you in Beijing. I imagine you will see the Killers here one day…

  • Bill Callahan

    May I just point out that the previous few comments (with the exception of Nishy) have failed to present any sort of counter arguments …. ok, Brand Flower is number 1, how? why? let’s present argument, counter argument, give us examples ….. nothing

    May I also point out it’s always the followers and fans of these big stadium rockers, upon hearing criticism concerning their fav big stadium “rock star”, the come backs are usually insults or “NO THEY ARE GREAT!! YOU SUCK” (the same can apply to “NO Eminem rocks …follow by insulting comments”, or “NO 50 scent is gangsta…follow by insulting comments”…we’ve all seen that before)

    I’m not saying all big stadium rockers are bad, I AM pointing out however, that perhaps, just perhaps, a large percentage of these followers of big stadium rockers are blindly lead to admire the band for no reason….Are you really fan of the killers? yes? ok first of all you didn’t give us a reason why they’re great. Second, if the killers is not such a big, famous band, are you still be into them? YES? ok I’m sure I can find a smaller, struggling indie band that does what the killer does, and maybe even better….

  • Lola

    I saw the Killers live and they were great!

    I dont really know why and how on earth would someone say Brandon cant sing, he is recognise by professionals in the industry as being talented, surely if he was crap someone else would have pointed that before.

    First time i hear that.

  • Stu

    Hi guys, just watching the 2009 V Festival live on telly here in the UK and got wondering if anyone else thought Brandon can’t sing… after a quick google search I find myself here nodding in agreement with this blog. I really want to like The Killers but Brandon lets it down with his struggling, shaky, breathless vocals. To add insult to injury, he also has a very limited range. Pity. Not that I could do a much better job I admit!

    I know they have a massive fan base (as have the Kings of Leon) but I can’t help but feel that this generation lacks a truly great ‘stadium’ rock band. The ingredients are all out there, they just don’t seem to come together very often. People will disagree with me on all this I know, but that’s my opinion. I’m off to find a ‘smaller’ band to enjoy, preferably one with a singer who has sufficient lung capacity.

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  • Katie

    what the hell… he clearly can sing. thats a whole load of bull

  • admin

    Hi Katie.

    Thanks for your comment. Have you ever seen the Killers live. I promise you that if you had, you would agree with me. Honestly, production in a studio can kid you into believing anything…

  • Pat

    The Killers were just at the right place at the right time, like most “lucky band”, they broke out as a band with a bit of edge (riding the tail of Interpol’s fame, ie: oh Interpol is hip right now, suddenly there’s a whole burst of bands that sound like Interpol, they were the “commercialized version of Interpol” ). Since then I guess they were able to get a good management & capitalized on their sucess, this plus pushes from various magazine …..and after that, the next logical step to go is obviously stadium rock, so now they’re a stadium rock band (aka the U2 method, if you want to become sucessful, write big stadium rock songs and pitch it right at the superbowl loving stadium crowd) ….. boring same old same old, if anyone thought they’re still this band with something to say you’re crazy, they’re riding this planned “formula” to “success”, if they ever had anything to said or any talents to show it was said and used up the first 15 minutes of their career

  • Jessica

    I’ve seen the Killers live twice, once at a festival and once at a concert, and both times they’ve been extraordinary. Brandon Flowers has never disappointed, he’s always been able to hit the right notes. The band is much better live than it is on CD; if anything their recorded tracks don’t do them justice. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but I think you’re going too far in saying that Brandon Flowers can’t sing.

  • Lukie

    I’ve been to one of their gigs in Germany, they are brilliant. I do think over your question “why do people like Killers?” and I just want to say many front men or girls can’t SING, but they do know how to perform. Every vocals made mistakes and your blog made me think of Tim Wheeler of ASH, he’s been out of tunes ALL the time, but they still have so many touching tracks, the same as The Killers. Maybe it’s just because you don’t actually like the WAY Brandon Flowers sings, Mr. Hamilton.
    And Ash isn’t as big as the Killers, so may i assume that the Killers get on your musical nerves, more or less because they are BIG? But just think about those manufactured bands (unless you already think the Killers are one of them ;P), they are probably the one to be criticized for the difference between CDs and live performance, not the Killers and alike.

  • Andy

    What!? Surely if Brandon couldn’t sing very well then The Killers wouldnt be one of the best in their genre would they? I have seen The Killers live a few times, and I’ll admit that he isnt AS good live as he is in studio versions of songs, but he is still a beautiful singer. Pretty much all singers sound better in the studio.

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  • coco

    OMFG sorry, but aree you TOTALLY INSANE??? AND DEAF!!!! Brandon flowers is the only singer that has ever given me goosebumps. He is an amaaazing singer and everyone in the UK loves him and the Killers…
    If Brandon can’t sing, then how come the Killers are one of the most famous bands and they are one of the best in thir music genre??? hmmmm, let me think…. because actually he can sing and you’re just DEAF!!!!
    (: My point is made.

  • Hector does go rug

    Brandon Flowers is one of the most talented singers I have ever encountered. He is one of the few musicians I have heard who is able to excellently cover a wide array of singing styles. I actually like his sometimes off-key singing, because it adds more depth to his singing ability. And if you want to think about it this way: At least he’s not using that goddammed auto-tune software.

  • Jeremy

    Brandon Flowers is going to release his solo album…

  • Alex

    youre either insane or deaf, hes amaaaaazing

  • admin

    We had the misfortune of seeing the Killers at festivals 3 times in 2009 and it reaffirmed our belief that Brandon Flowers is the weakest singer of an arena/ stadium band that we’ve ever heard. An out of tune, quavery voice ruins the experience of seeing them perform some admittedly fantastic songs live (from the first album, of course – two and three were generally limp). And now he has a solo career. Save us, please!

  • levy

    Mr. Brightside is a great song indeed, but I never like how Mr.Brandon Flower sung it, he’s not singing but more like yelling. if it’s transcribe in a note, it would just like a flatline…well, almost, hahaha.

    it’s a pity that todays vocalist can’t really sing 🙂

  • me here

    Brandon Flowers is actually a great and very talented singer. I have seen him live three times and know a lot about music. The occasional miss of a note only makes his work better.

  • TC Mercado

    You’ve got to cut the whole band slack live at a huge festival. The ability of a musician and the ability of a performer are two way different talents. Not many “big” bands master both RIGHT on tee. If he misses a few notes or if the guitarists fucks up once or twice, it’s forgivable to say the least. It’s easy to criticize giants but musicians are only human. I think this argument isn’t very fair. If you just don’t like his voice personally ok, but the man can sing whether you dig it or not. But just throwing this part out there; artists mess up more doing huge shows in general. Look at an intimate in-studio live gig, and they’ll be 100% focused on their voice, as opposed to dancing, jumping, being lively and entertaining a crowd, and obviously it reflects the potential of their voice better. EXAMPLE:

  • Joshua Geoghegan

    You all must be tone deaf because he can’t sing and I do dig most of their songs. It is just awkward listening to some of it. You do realise they use autotune to hide the off notes don’t you? It’s obvious in some songs.

  • lol

    To admin
    That was then. He has grown in these past few years. His voice has grown while he was touring for his Flamingo album. Seriously, go and do some more research before posting this crap.

  • Ryan

    Wow!, I can’t believe someone could say Brandon Flowers cannot sing. It is obvious he has an unreachable talent for music and performing. He has to even tone down his voice for some songs to let the emotion of the song come through with the melody, such as “Ruby, don’t take your love to town”. And if i mention the words “Flamingo” or “Only the Young” your argument is totally proved wrong.

  • JF

    Maybe it was just the venue, I hate to say it, but some venues have terrible acoustics. Plus – when did his voice begin to falter, could it have been because he was tired from extensive touring, singing that night, or because of harsh weather conditions? I have never heard Brandon sing a bad note, and have seen him live several times, but even if he does screw up now and again, that’s acceptable, who doesn’t?

  • Mystic_3

    Bob Dylan cannot sing!
    So what?

  • Music

    Not only Is China dumb but now it’s deaf….

  • hannah

    But this whole article is wrong? How could you possible listen to this man sing and then say he can’t do it well? His voice is beautiful and inspirational to many people. 

  • Fondation

    Brandon Flowers has grown a lot as a singer after “Flamingo”, there is a lot of power on his voice now. Leonard Cohen isn’t that great singer, y’know, but his performance is priceless! singing is not all about hitting the right notes like Adele and X-Factors, it is much more about delivering emotions and that Brandon can do for sure. C’mon… he is a good singer, stop watching X-Factor and American Idol, man.

  • there are many ways so sing, the voice, like any acoustic instrument doesn’t produce a perfect sound and when auto tuned to perfection sounds weird

  • Cattyface

    I saw The Killers at a major arena (The Air Canada Center) and I was impressed by his live performance.I’m not a young person and am picky who I pay to see live.They were well worth it and spot on.I’m also a fan on bands like Queensryche and Iron Maiden.To Gary Numan.I’m just trying to point out that my judgement of Flower’s voice is not the only type of music or vocal range as other artists.They sounded great in 2007.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who thinks he sounds great should listen to this:

  • Crbags73193

    Anyone who thinks Brandon Flowers cannot sing CURRENTLY should listen to this:
    This man is an inspiration to all vocalists, especially those who sing rock music. And the emotion in his voice is unparalleled.

  • anon.

    Well I admit he wasn’t the greatest singer when they first came around, but I loved them then and still do. His voice has grown so much though especially after his solo record.

  • davedvdy

    This article seems so off base even though everyone is entitled to their opinion. Try singing Spaceman, or Runaways without sounding like a dying dog. The dude has mad vocal ability and still does. I saw Killers live here in LA, they were incredible.

  • Choosers

    He kinda can’t sing in tune but it works for their songs and he’s great. They’re all great. My only beef is that he has a skinhead haircut. Makes him look like a racist.

  • Tod

    what are you talking about Brandon Flowers is an incredibly unique voice. Influenced by New Order, and Joy Division you can’t expect him to be traditional styling but the way it sounds to me is good and I wouldn’t listen to anyone else if they tried to get someone to replicate it. SO if you’re they’d better if he had a voice closer to your standard on what ti should sound like. I disagree and I wouldn’t listen to someone with so much confidence in their voice that they would think of something like this. SO ironically to me the guy with the better voice is the one who loses (in Brand Flowers case), you’re ideal singer.

  • James

    Whether you like the way he sounds or not… It is true that he’s not a technically good singer. He is often HORRIBLY out of tune or just hits the plain wrong notes, and if that’s how you like it then great but at times it is borderline painful to listen to for me, and it’s not just because of ‘his style’ because he is so much worse than on CD…

  • Nini

    Bullshit, I’ve been to their concerts, and they are amazing.

  • Michael

    Brandon Flowers in my opinion has one of the best voices today, I agree to you to an extent that during his live performances he would sometimes go a bit off key, but that’s because he’s dancing around being an awesome frontman. If you’ve heard him recently you’d see how much better he controls his voice now, it’s like the album version but with an edge.

  • Kiwi

    There’s more to a good song than perfect vocals. Plenty of iconic bands and artist have pretty average or bad vocal abilities but they’re still great and lasted far better than your average Idol winner (many of them can’t even write their own songs).
    The White Stripes for example. They had a lot of great songs despite the average vocals and awful drumming

  • nurseebol

    Actually it was that “yelling” that I really liked. He does actual singing now and I far preferred the intense thing he did before. It is all good tho. Only complaint is there is something just too perfect about him

  • nurseebol

    I think they are good, but it is odd how everyone likes them and he is so perfect. Oh well. I agree we don’t have enough great ones, I would love to see more larger than life stadium bands

  • 9320135

    So apparently, brandon flowers — lead singer of a band that’s been voted the best live act of 2013 and the third greatest live act of ALL TIME– can not sing. go home, mate, you’re drunk.

  • cattyface

    Sorry Brandon can sing!! you are just a stupid tool that doesn’t like them.Go on and play some of your Avril Lavigne or Celine Dion records.Perhaps kiddie music is more your thing.

  • cattyface

    I’ve seen them live and they fucking rocked.No “quavering vocals” or “limp dick voice” I promise you that you just don’t like the band and thats ok.Just don’t go waving your stupid opinions as “facts” .He can sing and entertain the audience>Perhaps you should stick to manufactured boy bands or American Idol idiots.As for Katie go see them when you can.They are really great.I’m a picky person when paying three hundred dollars for two tickets and would pay it again to see them.Ohh Have you ever though it was the venue or a shit ass sound person?

  • cattyface

    Go see them live>This Admin is a douche to carry on about a band he does not like.I’m Canadian and saw them in 2007.hey sounded really great.

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