Brandon Flowers – Can’t Deny My Love
If you’re a pop fan of a certain age, raised on the standard single-or-two-then-the-album release pattern, then the modern world is a very confusing place to be. Since the digital age dawned, it seems like everything is a single but also nothing is a single. Basically, whatever sticks become the single and like never before the charts are at the mercy of radio playlisters. The theory tells me that this is a good thing which means that the cream will rise to the top, but the practice annoys the hell out of me. I miss the good old days of expecting and getting two up-tempo tracks and then a ballad, and then a fourth single that doesn’t do quite so well because we’ve all got the album by then. But I suppose we must move with the times.
Brandon Flowers provides us with an interesting case here, because Can’t Deny My Love has only been floating around for about a month – an “instant grat” track you get when you pre-order the album – yet it has already been supplanted by a new one, Still Want You. Vertigo Records has basically sacrificed a potential hit in order to get a higher first week album position – but in doing so they’ve killed this amazing song – by far the best thing he’s ever done – stone dead. Even when it becomes eligible after the release of the album, any momentum it had will be long gone.
What I find particularly disgruntling is the huge amount of money that’s been spent on a video for a song that isn’t going to get in the charts. You have to go a long way back to find a clip that’s had this much dosh – and pretension – lavished upon it. Whoever came up with the Little House on the Prairie as written by Ibsen concept deserves an award, or incarceration – I can’t quite decide which. If you want to hear the actual song I I suggest you skip to 1:06 to avoid getting irritated by the theatrics.
There are so many brilliant things about Can’t Deny My Love, chief among that Brandon seems to have realised he is a pop, as opposed to rock star. The eighties influences are written all over it – recalling Talk Talk and, pleasingly, lyrically nodding to Erasure‘s Ship of Fools during the part where it sounds a little bit like, um, Ship of Fools. The vocal arrangement in the chorus has shades of – stay with me here – Bucks Fizz, who remain sadly under-appreciated for their harmonies. It’s a grand, posturing piece of pop and most excitingly of all features the return of the orchestra hit, which was last seen on active duty in Pet Shop Boys’ So Hard.
At the time of writing Can’t Deny My Love doesn’t feature in the UK top 40 radio airplay chart, nor its television equivalent. What was the point of all this? If I was Brandon I’d be making a few sharply worded calls right about now.
Entered chart: was not eligible
Who could sing this today and have a hit? Anyone in the marketing department at Vertigo, because obviously they know better than we do.