Kings Of Leon managed to escape the pitfalls of popularity with fourth album ‘Only By the Night’, a collection of huge anthems that perfectly suited arenas and festival headline slots. But going back into the studio after playing to thousands of adoring fans night after night appears to have got them all confused.
On ‘Come Around Sundown’, the three brothers from Tennessee have tried to return to their southern routes that worked so well on their first two releases whilst still trying to create arena-worthy anthems as on the last two. And unfortunately they have lived up to the old stereotype about men and multitasking.
Frustratingly, they have teased us a little with ‘Back Down South’, which just about nails it as far as merging new and old is concerned. But the rest of the album is a bit of a disappointment.
There is some redemption in the first single taken from the record, ‘Radioactive’, which has an original gospel feel and ‘Birthday’ manages to retain some of the KOL magic of old. However tracks such as ‘The Face’ and ‘Beach Side’, much like a chav on the dole, just plod along without amounting to much. In fact ‘No Money’ seems to end just as it starts to get good.
Whereas Caleb’s voice has sounded uniquely captivating on previous records, it now sounds a little whiney and dull. And it’s hard to get enthusiastic about a song when even the singer sounds bored.
Maybe it’s a grower, but at the moment I’m starting to think that those pigeons at the Verizon Amphitheatre had a point.
Top 5 Kings Of Leon Tracks:
1. Taper Jean Girl (Aha Shake Heartbreak)
2. Happy Alone (Youth & Young Manhood)
3. Molly’s Chambers (Youth & Young Manhood)
4. Fans (Because Of The Times)
5. Use Somebody (Only By the Night)