Kings of Leon: Only By the Night

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Kings of Leon 

Written By:

Brad Kelly

25th September 2008
At 10:54 GMT

21 comment(s)

With every album Kings Of Leon released, it seemed that everything about them was stepped up a notch.

An extra night on their tour, bigger venues, bolder songs, louder in scope, and it seemed only a matter of time before something happened that every K.O.L fan feared.

Unfortunately, this album is the something. But it’s not all the Kings fault, no, allow us to explain:

Album opener "Closer" sets the bar so ridiculously high and gives the listener such false hope that it ends up leaving the rest of the songs sounding hollow and boring in comparison. This was probably the first misstep.

Second song and first download only single "Crawl" is nice enough, with fuzz bass and drawling lyrics, but it’s just standard K.O.L fare, nothing entirely new here.

New single "Sex on Fire" is, in all honestly, cringe worthy in terms of chorus and follower "Use Somebody" sees them in full U2 anthem attire. Not good.

The inherent problem is, that not only does it sound like they’ve abandoned their Southern roots, it sounds like they’ve been forced to.

Lyrically it’s exactly as simple as it sounds with Caleb singing, crooning and shouting mostly about women (17 year old women at that!), places in the world and being somebody. It's not like he was ever the messiah of poignant lyrics but here, some lyrics truly come off as a joke; See: "Your sex is on fiiiire" or "You know that I could USE somebooddaahhh" and the whole of "Be Somebody". They're just not up to par throughout the entire album. This wasn’t what Kings Of Leon were about on the "Holy Roller Novocaine E.P" and shouldn’t be what they're about now.

It's just so upsetting to see what used to be a fantastic band, succumb to the hands of record labels, sold out arena tours and the idea of 'that much money'.

There’s so much unrealised potential throughout, which makes the nonsense all the more frustrating. "Revelry’s" drum machine intro is brilliantly executed and the riff in "Manhattan" following the chorus sounds gorgeous set against the backing percussion. Not to mention end track "Cold Desert", the only other true highlight on the album alongside "Closer".

In all honesty, it's hard to lose complete respect for this foursome, they have composed three brilliant albums and it was only a matter of time before the evil music execs got hold of their individual sound and decided to send it into the stratosphere. Epic? Yes. Good? No.

Rating:  5 / 10

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