Flamingo is a project started by Cody Christian. Christian released an eight-song self-titled album Flamingo. The only thing I knew about it going in was that the album was his experience with sickness and death. I was ready for an emotionally heavy album and that's what I got.
The album isn’t one that you pop in every morning for your daily commute. It’s got a time and place, at least for me. I think albums like this can be healing if you are in a mood that aligns with the music.
I never understood people who make remarks about bands like Radiohead or Portishead and they say it’s too depressing. Music like that has the opposite effect on me. In fact have you ever felt morose and tried listening to upbeat music? It can make you feel worse. Music in most powerful when there is empathy between the listener and artist. You relate and in some way that makes you feel better.
I’m not saying Flamingo is an easy listen but it can be powerful. The album opens with “Breathe” which starts with a strummed acoustic and lamenting vocals. Lyrically, the words and the delivery works extremely well and is actually moderately catchy.
“Photobooks” has depressing lyrics like “I’ve never been so alone” but the juxtaposition with the hopeful music makes it work. As the album progresses I was quite impressed with the songwriting. There were a couple of highlights that stuck out to me. The dub-step inspired “Sinking” has great instrumentation and production.
My personal favorite was “Smooth” which is really a perfect name. There is a bit of Postal Service vibe on this song. On top of that I thought the vocal melodies were memorable. This is arguably the most single worthy song on the album. The questions about death are tasteful and don’t feel trite. The closer “April 5th” was another deeply affecting song. The lyrics are heartbreaking.
There is no way this type of album could be made by someone who wasn't deeply invested. Christian put a lot of emotion and feeling into this album and you can clearly hear it. Recommended.
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