November 12, 2010

Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown (2010)

If you are reading this blog, then there probably isn't much that I can tell you about this band that you haven't already read online. Thus, I'll spare you the pointless biographical ramblings. I will tell you, however, that this is a very good album, albeit quite similar to Only by the Night in expression and production. Thankfully, Come Around Sundown is not simply a reincarnation of "Sex on Fire" in album form, as it is less likely to get you dancing, and more likely to help you get intimate. A number of the jams channel the slowed-down, sensuous sing-along tracks that your lady-friends insisted on butchering the lyrics to from previous albums. Nevertheless, tracks like the first single "Radioactive" and the growling "No Money" brings the sound around full circle to the days of hard-charging southern rock. Moreover, the made-for-karaoke "Birthday" will surely be annoying bartenders nationwide as an overplayed jukebox staple.

I think that those who may find this album disappointing are the folks who got to the KOL party early and long for the stripped-down presentation off of their early efforts. Unfortunately for that crowd, the days of Youth and Young Manhood are gone forever and you have to let the band grow up and develop their big-venue, glossy image and sound. They can't all be "indie" forever. I personally like the casual saunter and amusing lyrics of "Mi Amigo" (shouldn't it be Amiga?), the thunderous bass leading into the "Closer"esque "The End" and the back-porch twang of "Back Down South." It is all bueno from my perspective.

Kings Of Leon now have, what I consider to be, five great albums. Criticism may end up being dolled out describing this album as "safe" or "mainstream" (negative words in the music reviewing lexicon), but in truth, all bands eventually fall into that trap. What we have here may not be ground-breaking, but it is very, very enjoyable, so I'll indulge... feel free to join me.


Josh B. said...

Great review. I may or may not buy this album.

Nightrain said...

On a fence, eh?

I feel like it is good, but also more of what we already know. If you like what you've heard on all the albums so far, you should find this album an excellent addition to the catalog.

Mona said...

"I think that those who may find this album disappointing are the folks who got to the KOL party early and long for the stripped-down presentation off of their early efforts"

Guilty as charged! I'm still waiting for those YAYM and ASH days to come back, even though I know it ain't gonna happen. I remember "Molly's Chamber's" was in a VW Jetta commercial in the early '00s, but still... if you asked me then if I thought KOL would ever reach this level of fame I never would have guessed it.

Mona said...

Criticism aside, I LOVE the album title (no surprise, considering I love all of theirs). And I definitely got chills the first time I heard "Radioactive," the same way I did when I first heard "The Bucket" in 2004, even though the sounds are completely different. Odd, but cool.

...but, KOL doth protest too much in the press instead of just staying mum? They seem awfully defensive regarding "selling out" accusations and how they claim they have not, nor will they ever. Fine, you won't let Glee use your songs, but then why did you give 3 of them to Gossip Girl for a crapload of money? And also, why are you starting beef with Arcade Fire? I just don't know why they don't at least try to pretend that they don't care what people think?


Mona said...

I'm in a good mood today and I enjoyed your write-up (far more generous and fair than I woulda been), so I'm going to go ahead and NOT mention their clothing line :)