Kings of Leon have grown into one of my favorite bands out there today. The brand of Southern Rock they plied on Only by the Night, just stuck with me, and it’s a project I often return to. They’ve come a long way since their early garage band days and have pushed their way into mainstream success with some massive arena ready hits that have seen them headline countless festivals. It’s a sound they’ve been leaning on more and more in their recent albums and I didn’t have any reason to think they’d move away from it now on WALLS.
“I could never point you out
Waste of space in a faceless crowd
Tell me what I have to say
If you know what’s right, then you’ll walk away”
Gone are the days of their music having that sort of rough charm that made their almost cliche brand of rock endearing. Now their music is all radio friendly and has that fresh corporate sheen to it. It’s a transition that seems almost inevitable these days and will have some fans lamenting for the days of old, but damn is it catchy. WALLS is easy bake music, full of sing-a-long choruses and big, hypnotic guitars. It’s easy listening that’ll have you breezing through it’s ten tracks before you know it, with occasional glimpses of that rough charm in songs like “Eyes on You” and “Muchacho.” Out of all their albums, this is them at their most mainstream. It all sounds great and goes down easy, but will leave you looking for something a little more to sink your teeth into.
“He’d let you rise
Then take the fall
He was my favorite friend of all”
I’ve always felt their lyrics and songwriting have been slightly above average at best. Relying more on hyperbolic declarations rather than crafting truly evocative narratives. Easy phrases and tales that only cover their topics in the broadest of terms. But it’s always catchy and stick with you thanks to their fantastic melodies and vocals.
Have you heard WALLS? What’d you think about it? Do you think they went too “mainstream” with it? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.