Back to their roots


Michelle Cunliffe


Photo: Kings of Leon – Music Review

Kings of Leon‘s fifth album, Come Around Sundown, depicts their earlier, experimental, grand rock interspersed with post-punk moods style. The band’s last album, Only by the Night, went multi-platinum and sold 6.5 million copies worldwide and earned them four Grammy Awards propelling them firmly into the mainstream spotlight. Refusing to play by the rules, Kings of Leon produced an album that is reminiscent of their earlier albums rather than that of their pop sensation single Sex is on Fire. The band described their biggest hit as “a piece of shit” and so the album is a return to their earlier style, which is seen in the lyrics and musicality. This difference in style between the two albums has seen the album getting mixed reviews.

Drummer, Nathan Followill,  said, “Come Around Sundown colours in the picture of us as a band, in terms of where we’ve come from musically and I think it took a record like Only By the Night to be so successful to give us the courage to put a song like Mary on the album. It would have been so easy for us to go in there and try to have a record full of just polished radio smashes. In fact,  I’m sure that was expected by a lot of people,  but I’m glad that when a song like Mary or Back Down South comes on , people will know immediately that we didn’t try to capitalize on being the flavour of the month.”

The pure musical diversity of the album shows Kings of Leon fans that the band’s new-found fame has not affected their authentic flavour. Mary plays with ’50s style doo-wop, Back down South heads to the band’s Tennessee country roots and Pony up shows some sketchy post-funk. The Face leads the listener to a slow ballad which casts images of swaying, illuminated fans.

Birthday shows lead vocalist, Caleb Followill’s Tennessee voice oozing the band’s garage-rock days. The lead single Radioactive offers Caleb Followill’s boozy voice complete with a catchy chorus that – love it or hate it – will swirl around your head. Pyro gives the listener a sing-along melody offering fans a chance to sing in unison. The End and Pickup Truck offer Caleb Followill’s slithering voice dripping with more oily emotion than a Big Mac. The band may have gone back to its roots, but it is definitely catapulting into the future.

Video: Mary – Kings of Leon

Video: Back Down South – Kings of Leon

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