Album Review
Only By The Night - Kings of Leon
Rating: 7/10
NME magazine called the Kings of Leon's latest offering growling, anthemic, and sophisticated. With the description of anthemic, it's inevitable that there will be comparisons to the mother of all epicness, U2. Sometimes these comparisons are valid; sometimes they are not. For the most part, the collection of three brothers and one cousin that make up the Kings of Leon deserve such praise for Only By The Night.

reaches heights that none of their records before have. "Closer" kicks off the album with haunting minimalist synthesizers aided by the dark brooding of frontman Caleb Followill (the song's about a vampire in love, a popular topic these days). Caleb sounds most like Bono on the growling "Closer" as he laments, "the crucified USA...all hell is surely on it's way". Lead single "Sex On Fire" is the highlight of the entire set. "Sex" sounds less southern than what the Kings usually churn out, in fact, it sounds downright British (which explains it's knocking off Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" and ruling the #1 spot for three weeks and running). "Use Somebody", the record's power ballad and most popular track on iTunes, suffers from sounding like a Nickleback rejects but luckily, Chad Krueger isn't singing. "Cold Desert" closes out with album with an annoying fake-outro and fails to inspire the kind of grandeur you'd come to expect as Followill grieves, "I'm too young to feel this old, nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody but me."

There will be many who wished the Followill's kept their beards and kept trying to be the southern Strokes, but Only By The Night is a bold move into international rock dominance. In a year of British invasion of the American charts and whispers of America in decline, it's comforting to know that a band from Tennessee can top the the British charts (even if they haven't a prayer of doing it in their own country).

Must download:
"Sex On Fire"
"Use Somebody"


Bronson said...

EVERY review of this album I read made U2 comparisons.

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