As a longtime fan of The Killers, I have to admit that I was thoroughly disappointed with vocalist Brandon Flowers’ 2010 solo debut Flamingo, which in turn made my expectations for his newest solo effort initially tepid at best. To my pleasant surprise, however, The Desired Effect surpasses what I expected him to deliver with his sophomore solo album. Throughout the record, he embraces a dance-pop sound blatantly rooted in the first-half of the 80’s (think Duran Duran, Madonna, etc.), but without an abundance of the outrageous, cheesy touch points that the decade is known for. Listening to Flowers wide-eyed dreams of becoming a rock star on opening track “Dreams Come True” is endearing, while the keyboard-heavy “Lonely Town” fondly chases a different set of ghosts from the past. It is those memories of Flowers, whether real or fictional, that ultimately makes each track on The Desired Effect a little gem of its own.