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Kings of Leon: Will “Come Around Sundown” Live Up To The Hype?

Posted by on October 20, 2010 at 1:20 PM EST

kings of leon new albumKings of Leon are feeling the pressure with the release of their brand new album, Come Around Sundown.

The pressure is on for the Kings of Leon with the release of their newest album “Come Around Sundown.” They worked hard to get to the top, now they have to work harder to stay there.

With the release of “Come Around Sundown” the band has reunited with producers King and Petraglia and together they have summoned up a darker, edgier sound that shows the Kings of Leon‘s growth as songwriters. The album sometimes performs sonic hopscotch, jumping from a near doo-wop beat on “Mary” to a full, almost U2 infused wall of sound on “The End.” The band has never sounded tighter and now seems to feel free to experiment. They understand that rock n roll is like a boxing match and sometimes you have to swing wildly. You may miss, but it is important to make the statement that you are not afraid of getting hit. Nathan and Michael have never had the rhythm section of the band sounding better than they do here. The slow burn of grit they draw on “Pickup Truck “provides just the right canvas for Caleb’s voice. As good as the band and music is, this is really Caleb’s record. His once desperate growl has now matured into full southern infused, bourbon soaked baritone. He is still desperate, sometimes painfully so, but now you feel it his gut, not so much his fists.

Listen to Kings of Leon ‘Come Around Sundown’ Now

At once glorious, painful and beautiful “Come Around Sundown” is the perfect follow up to “Only by the Night.” Can they live up to the hype? Maybe. Sometimes a song and an album just have a place in time and they strike a chord with the finicky public. There is no telling if this new album will do that, but hit songs or not, true fans of rock who appreciate good song writing, great singing and some strong musicianship should do themselves a favor and give this album a listen.

The tale of the rise of Kings of Leon is one that most fans already know. Named for their father, the band was formed when brothers Nathan and Caleb Followill signed a deal with RCA records. The record label wanted to hire musicians and build a band around them. Afraid of becoming a manufactured product instead of a real band they told the label they had friends and other people in mind. The label gave them a month to put their band together. They recruited their younger brother Jared and cousin Matthew into the band. In 30 days they taught Jared how to play the bass, polished up their own playing skills and wrote four original songs. The label was happy and they went into the studio to record the “Holy Roller Novocaine” EP.

Over the next five years the Kings of Leon would record two more albums and tour heavily opening for everyone form Bob Dylan to Pearl Jam. They won critical acclaim and grew in popularity in the UK and Ireland where critics heaped praise on them. While success in the US was a little slower coming they were steadily gaining critical acclaim and they were touring relentlessly.  As the band matured so did their sound. Slowly their sound developed from the lean, garage infused sound of the early records to a fuller more fleshed out sound that found them leaning more heavily on their southern rock upbringing and sensibilities. Their fourth album “Only by the Night” reunited them with producer Angelo Petraglia. This time they brought producer Jacquire King into fold. King has worked with everyone from Tom Waits to Norah Jones and Modest Mouse. King help the Kings of Leon infuse a new brand of soul into their music. Mixed with the indie sensibilities of their younger years and the southern fried chords of their previous record it delivered a sound that was at once loved by critics and fans alike. Accessible, yet intelligent, the music spoke to people. The single “Use Somebody” was a worldwide hit and the bands first top 10 single in the US. Everyone from Taylor Swift to Paramore has covered it. Pixie Lott even released a cover version of the song which charted in the UK. Kings of Leon had arrived and were officially one of the biggest bands in the world as well as one of the most critically acclaimed.



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