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Thank you, Brandon Flowers, for reminding me of Bronski Beat

Thank you, Brandon Flowers, for reminding me of Bronski Beat


Cry, boy, cry, boy, cry

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Dear Brandon Flowers,

Hey, pal! I've enjoyed a couple of your tunes with your band, The Killers, in the past; the nonsensical-but-fun "Human" is probably my very favorite. But I think it's your recent "I Can Change" that's made me happiest — because it reminded me I hadn't listened to Bronski Beat in a minute.

Your single isn't bad, though I can't say it stuck with me. What did stick with me, though, was the sample of "Smalltown Boy," which I immediately cued up — you know, the gay anthem on Bronski Beat's 1984 debut, Age of Consent. Here's the video; I would not call it subtle.

I'll grant that's a massive synth groove. But separately from how weird it is to hear a famous gay anthem sampled in a song where the chorus goes "Girl, I can change for you," using this beat invites comparison to Jimmy Somerville's immaculate falsetto. That's not a contest you can win, Brandon.

That's the power of an iconic sample. You brought a bunch of joy to my life — but not through your song. Ever since I heard "I Can Change," I've had "Smalltown Boy" stuck in my head. I've bumped Age Of Consent all this week. So thanks, Brandon Flowers, for reminding me of the original. Best of luck with your tune, I guess.