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Kings Of Leon

Only By The Night  Hear it Now

RS: 3of 5 Stars

2008

Play View Kings Of Leon's page on Rhapsody

Free from their strict Pentecostal father, Kings of Leon's Followill brothers (plus cousin Matthew) spent their first two records establishing themselves as horny Nashville youngsters with a neo-garage-rock style that got them tagged as the "Southern Strokes." Nowadays, the Kings are feeling a different sound: Like last year's Because of the Times, Only by the Night is long on astral, arena-ready largeness, with blippy keyboards, droney guitars and whoa-oh-oh backing vocals. Frontman Caleb Followill cranks up his Allman Brothers howl, turning out big choruses with sometimes tough-to-parse lyrics and deep-feeling melodies reportedly influenced by pain meds he began taking after shoulder surgery. The revamped sound doesn't always work: Cuts like the slow-burning murk-fest "Cold Desert" feel like sub-John Mayer soul — bland and overly ponderous. But when the Kings find a gussied-up groove with teeth — like the effects-laden Zeppelin stomp of "Crawl" or the pulsating, New Wave "Sex on Fire" — they sound like rock heroes experiencing the joy of well-manicured sound.



CHRISTIAN HOARD

(Posted: Oct 2, 2008)

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