Sunday 24 October 2010

Effortless New Album By Kings of Leon

The guys from Kings of Leon have come a long way since they released their first album 'Youth and Young Manhood' seven years ago. From a relative unknown band liked by many people for their alternative and rough southern sound they hit the jackpot with 'Only By The Night'. But that album also received a lot of criticism that the boys had exchanged their original sound for a more main stream one and were only aiming at big success. Time to check out what this new album would bring.

Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown (Ronald Says 5 out of 10)

I never completely shared that negative criticism for 'Only By The Night' as I liked most of the album. And I think the big hit 'Sex On Fire' that for some was the perfect example of everything that turned ugly is a pretty good song. Maybe not lyrics wise but it has some great hooks and a good groove.

And with such a successful album the big pitfall is to stick to that sound and make an almost identical new album. The reality is far worse though. They seemed to have taken the mainstream appeal, thickened it and got rid of what was left of the soul of their original sound. And so the album ends up with mediocre songs and a band that's nog even trying to play good songs.

Singer Caleb Followill is constantly trying to sound like someone else. He found a way of sounding over dramatic and sticks to it the entire album. It's like a trick he keeps repeating so that you really grow tired of it in the end. The lyrics are cheesy throughout the whole album and just really too easy. Like in 'Back Down South':

If you see the lights
and we hear the fights
It's gonna be a stunner
I've got something here
If you give me one more beer

I mean c'm on! You don't get away with that. This sounds like he wrote it quickly on a napkin in a dead moment between all the side activities that seem to come with stardom.

Guitar riffs and licks, bass and drum grooves all suffer from that problem. On top of that every song follows the same recipe causing all of them to sound identical. There isn't a track on the album that sticks out. Everything sounds so phony, cheesy and insincere that even a potentially good song like 'Back Down South' (yes with those laughable lyrics) is just too much. In the end you just don't believe them anymore. Album opener 'The End' is a slow version of 'Sex On Fire' with some cheesy synths thrown in. Half of the album is filled with ballads that all sound the same. Just listen to 'Pyro', 'Mary' and 'Mi Amigo' to name a few. A song like 'Pony Up' is just a sad attempt at sounding funky. And then there's 'Radioactive'...I mean wtf!?

Frontman Followill told in an interview he hates hipsters. "We'll gladly be the next generation of bands that aren't going anywhere." Well they are doing great at going nowhere. Kings of Leon now sound like a bad copy of Kings of Leon.

Come Around Sundown on Spotify

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