Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Kings of Leon, Come Around Sundown

It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed anything. That said, you’ll be seeing two reviews here today. The first is my first music review of one of my favorite bands.

Kings of Leon released their fifth album, Come Around Sundown, last Tuesday. Determining whether or not you will enjoy it depends on how you feel about the band along several categories.

If you’re like me, you like Caleb Followill’s unique vocal sound. The scratchy yet strong, desperate yet mellow quality of his voice comes through in this album. If he is the main reason why you listen to this band, you won’t be disappointed. The already popular radio single, Radioactive, demonstrates this.

The rest of the band is what really seems different to me on this album. The Beatles meditated with the Maharishi. You could hear a certain influence on Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album and Abbey Road. It seems as if Kings of Leon held a weekend retreat with The Fray before hitting the studio to record their latest album.

Much like the vocals, on previous releases, Kings of Leon had a desperation to their musical sound. Each instrument in the band could be picked out from the rest on nearly every song. It gave the music a lonely, meaningful power as if each member of the band was doing their own thing, dealing with their own issues, yet it sounded great together. What you hear on Come Around Sundown is significantly different. There is a lot of blending of distorted instruments. What results is more of an overall background sound similar to other light, adult contemporary rock bands than the driving, definable melodies KOL had gotten me accustomed to hearing.

While disappointed that their music was more mashed together than usual, I still enjoyed the album. They still sound like Kings of Leon. Songs like Pickup Truck are still unique and, for lack of a better word, edgy (eww, I need to take a shower now after using that word). You will still like the sound of a song, read the lyrics and like it even more. It’s just not their best album.

Since I enjoy this band so much, I suppose I expect each release to get better. Maybe that’s fair, maybe its not, but in the end, I still like the product. If you’re a KOL fan, you will too. If you liked their old stuff, you won’t like this as much, but if you haven’t listened to their back catalog since their rise to popularity within the last two years or so, you might like this album more.

Happy listening.

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