Have the Kings sold out?

Have the Kings sold out?

Kings of Leon are back with their fifth album, following the platinum success of Only By The Night. The band, made up of three brothers and a cousin from the Followill clan, seem to be in a quandary: unsure whether to stick with their trademark Southern sound, or go for stadium-rock style with instant mass appeal.

Fans who have followed the Kings from the start will be disappointed that, far from being the touted return to their roots, Come Around Sundown is ultimately a commercial album aimed at increasing their fame.

Opener The End is a decided crowd-pleaser, custom-built for large, live gigs. Lead singer Caleb milks his voice at every opportunity, stretching out his words to sound grandiose. The effect is trite; old fans will miss the spark that gave Kings of Leon their energy. Aptly, the best part of the song is the end, where there is an almost random scattering of delightful piano notes that will make you smile.

Mary offers a hint of what this album could have been. Guitarist Matthew has the opportunity to truly shine for the first time in the album, but Caleb's incessant moans nearly ruin the effect.

The album could be summed up thus: the best parts are when the Followills follow their hearts and stray from the mainstream.

YP rating: 2/5

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