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Album review: Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 at 1:30pm | Comments

Album Review: Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown

Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown

Imagine your profession is, say, basket weaving - bare with us on this one - and you begin your weaving career creating baskets exactly the way you want to make them; they’re appreciated by a select group of people and you’re earning a reasonable living from it. But one day you realise that if you make bigger, more grandiose baskets, albeit with less substance to them, then you will sell a considerably greater number, earn a lot more money and in turn have more fans of your woven arrangements than ever before.

The only downside is that all of those people that supported your basket weaving skills when you first started out aren’t particularly fond of your new way of weaing. They think they’re a crap in fact; they feel let down and they think that you should have never shaved your beard off and cut your hair.

Much like the licentious vocation of basket weaving, the lesser know profession of a musician offers equally lucrative rewards for artists that can truly appeal to the masses. The whiskey-soaked, uber-cool, grizzly embodiments of rock and roll that were Youth And Young Manhood Kings Of Leon have long since dissipated into a clean (ish) cut, stadium-filling, chart-topping behemoth of a band – their last album, Only By The Night sold eight million copies.

Tracks like Sex On Fire and Use Somebody seem so far removed from Red Morning Light and Molly’s Chambers you’d swear it was a completely different band had it not been for Caleb Followill’s inimitable drawl – but even that now feels domesticated and restrained. Worst of all, despite the floods of indignation from fans, KOL, quite simple, aren’t anywhere near as interesting as they once were.

Come Around Sundown however, offers a clean slate; the opportunity to redesign the basket and put things right. The first single from the album, Radioactive, offered at least a little promise. While it's still more chart-fodder than KOL rock and roll renaissance, it's complimented by an absolutely mental video (see here) which, love or hate, is fascinating viewing.

So, if archetypal Kings Of Leon have gone for good, perhaps Come Around Sundown can at least document the riveting, bonkers, breakdown that the Radioactive video alludes to.

No such look, unfortunately. The Followill’s fifth offering is disastrously Dad-friendly rock, sauntering along at Sunday driving pace.

Every riff is rounded, clean and friendly while Caleb's sentiments feel forced, contrived and limp: “Hate to be so emotional / I didn’t mean to get physical [...] Tremblin’ knees are weak / and its cold as a hole / hug your bones and skin,” goes Pickup Truck.

Kings Of Leon were clearly attempting cinematic and voluminous but Come Around Sundown has ultimately resulted in a diluted, listless, listen. Ever thought of basket weaving boys? 4/10

Gary Evans