• Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: May 19, 2015

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy On
  1. 91
    It’s Flowers’ unique presence--equal parts Wild West underdog and glitzy glam messiah--that really transforms Effect’s Reagan-era throwbacks into forward-thinking Instagram-age rock.
  2. With so much going on in these songs, they could easily have become overstuffed, but Moulder balances everything perfectly, creating a swell of sound that surrounds you with its hugeness, but doesn't lose clarity in the process. Suffice to say, this is a record that demands to be listened to on a pair of good headphones.
  3. 80
    Somehow, despite his success, Flowers understands that good music isn’t about what you have, but what could have been, and although his wife must wonder who he’s singing about all the time, the rest of us can press our face against the windows of childhood car journeys, and dream.
  4. Mojo
    May 20, 2015
    This album is brazenly in hock to the shoulder pad decade. Its telegraphed choruses will not be denied. [Jun 2015, p.88]
  5. May 19, 2015
    The Desired Effect absolutely brims with pop-rock goodness, spanning several styles that are tied together by the singer’s gifts for combining an instantly memorable tune, clever turns of phrase, ace instrumentation, and his airy yet powerful voice.
  6. May 18, 2015
    Emotional, great and exhausting.
  7. May 18, 2015
    The genius thing about all this is that Flowers doesn't steal Jeff Lynne's hooks or ape Mark Knopfler's guitar sound (well, not exactly), he just imbues his productions with a distinct level of tangible homage.
  8. May 18, 2015
    It’s hardly a forward-looking album, but nonetheless highly enjoyable.
  9. May 15, 2015
    On The Desired Effect, Flowers aims to be loose and have some fun, but he also sounds more focused than ever. Flowers has spoken of a desire to write an album full of singles, and these songs almost reach that goal.
  10. 80
    The result is a series of huge-sounding, stadium-ready pop anthems of undeniable charm.
  11. May 14, 2015
    It’s everything you wouldn’t expect and more.
  12. Q Magazine
    May 12, 2015
    Big, bold and joyful, it's exactly what a great pop album should be. [Jun 2015, p.105]
  13. May 12, 2015
    Every track offers up a smart blend of snappy lyrics and catchy hooks, and at least half are absolutely glorious.
  14. 75
    The record is weighty, but with a defter, more nimble touch than on prior efforts.
  15. May 19, 2015
    Overall, this is arguably the most consistent album Flowers has ever been involved with.
  16. May 19, 2015
    Taken together, The Desired Effect is something rare--the best straight-up pop album made by a rock star in recent memory.
  17. May 19, 2015
    The Desired Effect is another gingerly step into the present, Flowers’ present. No one knows how he feels or what he says until you read between his lines.
  18. 70
    For all its slavering over archaic ‘80s production cheese, The Desired Effect is a consistently impressive collection--probably the strongest Brandon’s produced since 2006’s ‘Sam’s Town.’
  19. Oct 2, 2015
    The Desired Effect for a feel-good LP of self-discovery is coming-of-age stories that transform into lost Springsteen anthems. Mission accomplished.
  20. Jul 14, 2015
    He defers too many vocals to his backing gospel singers, and his synth pop sound does nothing to distinguish this from his work with The Killers. Oddly, this is the album's greatest strength.
  21. May 14, 2015
    Its unusual lineup of collaborators--including the Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian, percussionist Joey Waronker and Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant--looks intriguing on paper, but their contributions are often barely audible; Danielle Haim’s appearance is a natural meeting of minds, however.
  22. May 12, 2015
    The standout tracks are strong enough to carry the album, which means that it will probably resonate with listeners who don’t mind putting up with lengthy passages of fluff in between those moments of grandeur.
  23. May 18, 2015
    An album that works best when politics and organized religion get the brush off.
  24. May 20, 2015
    It’s always just one move too many.
  25. Jul 2, 2015
    These 10 tracks continually buckle under the weight of Flowers' torrid lyrics, mind-numbing cliches, and woefully derivative song structures.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 98
  2. Negative: 4 out of 98
  1. Jun 7, 2015
    Good? Yes. Could be better than it is? Maybe. The Desired Effect is a good release from Brandon. The album is romantic, intense and reminds meGood? Yes. Could be better than it is? Maybe. The Desired Effect is a good release from Brandon. The album is romantic, intense and reminds me of 70's and 80's music's style, so original and different of the stuff that we listen nowadays. But it is not something like "wow, that is a **** awesome disc" that totally impress you. There are really great songs and bad songs too, and this makes the album worse than we expect. Full Review »
  2. Sep 14, 2015
    The Desired Effect is a perfect pop anthem style album. It's hard to deny that Brandon Flowers' voice can fill an arena, but it can also pullThe Desired Effect is a perfect pop anthem style album. It's hard to deny that Brandon Flowers' voice can fill an arena, but it can also pull back enough to be very intimate. He sounds unabashedly enthusiastic as an artist throughout all of the tracks on this album. We just saw him perform most of the tunes at a live show with only 2000 people. His live performance enthusiasm was clear. I highly recommend The Desired Effect. Full Review »
  3. Jun 25, 2015
    Quite fun.Quite fun. . Full Review »