I Can Change
by Brandon Flowers

Writers - Flowers/Bronski/Cole/Somerville/Hedfors/Ingrosso
First released - 2015
Original album - The Desired Effect (Brandon Flowers)
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

In late March 2015 Neil noted on the Boys' official website that he would be making a brief spoken-word guest appearance on this track on The Desired Effect, the second solo album by The Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers, which would be released less than two months later in May. It subsequently became the fourth and final single from the album. Even PSB fans who aren't very familiar with The Killers should recognize Flowers for his longtime fellow-fandom, especially since he had appeared in the 2006 documentary Pet Shop Boys: A Life in Pop and had presented them with their 2009 Outstanding Contribution to Music BRIT Award, at which time he (along with Lady Gaga) also performed a PSB hits medley with them.

Neil stated that his contribution to the track consists only of a single line recorded on his iPhone, adding, "It's a fantastic track though which I'm delighted to be on and if the rest of the album is as good it'll be brilliant." He also noted that it samples the 1984 Bronski Beat classic "Smalltown Boy" (which happens to be something of a landmark recording in the history of "gay pop"). This sampling has been separately confirmed by Flowers himself and accounts for the members of Bronski Beat (Bronski, Cole, and Somerville) being granted co-songwriting credits.

After mentioning how both he and the album's producer, Ariel Rechtshaid, are big fans of the Pet Shop Boys, Flowers told interviewer Jason Lipshutz for Billboard magazine—

[W]e just had this gap in a verse and we needed to stick something in there. We were talking about it being a speaking part, and the greatest musical "speaker" is Neil Tennant! His voice is like no other.… I just texted him this line. I asked, will you send us a voicemail of yourself saying, " When you're looking for a change"? And that was it. He sent us a voice memo, and we stuck it onto the track, from the phone.

Neil's spoken insert occurs approximately 1:55 into the song and lasts no more than two or three seconds. At first it was difficult to make out what he's saying, buried as it is beneath the music. But Flowers himself quickly confirmed (in an interview cited in Billboard magazine and elsewhere) that Neil's words are "And when you're looking for a change…," after which Brandon completes the sentence by singing "I'll be what you're looking for." Neil also makes a fleeting cameo appearance mouthing his contribution in the song's official lyric video, which again confirms what he's saying.

List cross-references