You could talk about Kings Of Leon all day.
After the huge success of ‘Only By The Night’, the album that propelled family Followill to the masses, they’ve rarely left the stage or the spot light.
But with triumph comes further scrutiny and since their fourth LP we’ve seen on-stage tantrums (Reading 2009,) stories of petulance and cries of over commerciality with pampered pretence replacing their back room country punk, matters which have caused some fans to leave their side.
This is a band no longer in transition and Kings Of Leon have chilled their game. Preceding comments of a “beachy” album are true on the whole and ‘Come Around Sundown’ is a record for open highways and stadium spectaculars, despite the fact it never quite hits top gear.
Opener ‘The End’ sets the tone with expansive sounds and reverbed arena rock showing that the Kings
aren’t shying away from the path laid down by the album that sold over six million copies.
While there’s nothing here in the vein of ‘Four Kicks’, ‘Molly’s Chambers’ or ‘Black Thumbnail’, the band are furthering their musical exploration and the sounds of their heritage with ‘Back Down South’ and ‘Radioactive’ particularly indebted to their birthright as the latter howls: “It’s in the water, it’s where you came from,” to background gospel.
It seems that Kings Of Leon are finally beginning to slow up as the likes of ‘Pyro’, ‘Mary’ and ‘Mi Amigo’ all cruise down the middle of that open road to highlight the problem with ‘Come Around Sundown’, it’s all too nice and lacks their normal bite. But maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be.
While Kings Of Leon’s fifth album release in seven years isn’t as immediate, innovative or as exciting as we’ve come to expect, it is the sound of an accomplished band that are comfortable with what they’ve become and where they’re headed.