Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Only by the Night-
Kings of Leon
Status-Out as of 2008
4th Studio Album
Rating-3 feathers

Back with another new sound and new look, and marketed as the next big thing, Kings of Leon have released their critically well-received 4th album ‘Only by the Night’. It seems they have been marketed as the next big thing, but will they finally make it big in their home?

As a collection, the songs fit with one another well; maybe a little too well. The opening track, ‘Closer’, has a weird enough sound to make you think “Why haven’t I been listening to these guys?” The southern electrified ‘Crawl’, with a sound like The Who’s ‘The Seeker’, and the pulsing groove of ‘Sex on Fire’ demonstrate perfectly the potential of Jared Followill as a bassist and Matthew Followill as a guitarist. They reach the peak very quickly with the overtly dramatic ‘Use Somebody’. The song builds nicely, and evokes a boatload of emotion, almost as if it’s the last song on the album and they want to go out with a bang. However, that is not the case: there are 7 songs still. After this, each song has it’s own personality and brings something different to album, but not enough to keep it from being overwhelmingly monotonous. For the first few songs you kinda get that Caleb wants to show off his voice, and for a few it works. But, when you’re pouring the same amount of intensity and staying in the same range for every song, it gets very tiring very quickly. The majority is a bit of a blur. ‘17’ sticks out badly for having this beyond annoying vocal pattern that they repeat several thousand times, but a song like ‘Notion’ sticks out for it’s heavier atmosphere and for the proper utilization of the forceful vocals. To finish, ‘Cold Desert’ is less than memorable. It never really builds, and just drones on. They even have a dumb false end, and when it comes back, it’s even more uninspiring.

Each song is a good song and well performed but it’s just very repetitively boring. Many of the songs follow a very similar formula, and the album just sorta dies after the 4th song. ‘Only by the Night’ is possibly Kings of Leons’s most successful album in the U.S., but for now, and possibly forever, they’ll just continue to ‘Be Somebody’ everywhere else.
"We always end up doing records so much faster than we want to 'cos we just get bored when we go home and have nothing to do, but drink or write. So we drink plenty…the writing comes shortly after."-Nathan Followill

Video for Use Somebody

Recommendations: Closer, Crawl, Sex on Fire
Kings of Leon's Official Website
NOTE: I said I would do it, and I did! This was awkwardly challenging to write, and I hope you enjoy. And, this is my 100th post! It's been good so far, so thank you to all who commented! I'll be reviewing either Tapes'n Tapes, Spoon, or Panda Bear next.


Ian France said...

You gave this a better review than I thought you would! I only listened to one song off of the album, but I'm going to give it a big *MEH*

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: Well, all the songs were performed well and stuff, so it be wrong of me to give it a bad review. Otherwise I would've given way worse if I factored in that I thoroughly hate his voice, but that's not entirely fair because he sings in each song. I didn't give it a great review because it got boring after the 4th song.