Kings of Leon
Aha Shake Heartbreak


3.5
great

Review

by RushHourSoul USER (2 Reviews)
May 22nd, 2005 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Kings Of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
(2004 HandMeDown Records)

Caleb Followhill - Vocals, Guitar
Nathan Followhill - Drums, Vocals
Jared Followhill - Bass Guitar
Matthew Followhill - Lead Guitar

Kings Of Leon are all brothers apart from Matthew Followhill who is their cousin.

Aha Shake Heartbreak, the Kings' second and most recent album. Often deemed the hardest, especially after a fairly strong debut. There's a lot of fuss about the second album; Were the band pulling a fluke on their debut? Will the follow-up be as good? I can safely say that Aha Shake Heartbreak beats their first hands down.

The reason for this is simply the song writing and overall album quality is a lot higher. There are no bad tracks on Aha Shake Heartbreak whereas their debut album lacked in a few songs.

First up is Slow Night, So Long, one of my favourite songs off the album. Opens with a soft guitar riff, an interesting chorus consisting of strumming an A chord for a few bars and the trademark Caleb Followhill hard-to-distinguish southern twang. The best part of the song however is the outro. You can tell KOL are experimenting a bit here - you can hear interesting percussion, a calypso-ish vibe, some nice guitar chords that remind me of being on a beach somewhere and even some tasteful piano later on. Sound much like Youth And Young Manhood? I think not.

A lot of the songs on the album contain simple but effective guitar riffs. Thats what I love about KOL, they turn the simplest riffs and ideas into interesting songs.

Nathan's drum parts are extremely simple most of the time, but occasionally he will play something a bit out of the ordinary - check out the intro to Razz, pretty tasty drum fill, and then the end to Rememo. Plus if you've ever seen the video, hes got this great way of looking statue-like still while playing. I love it. The bass playing has improved quite a bit from Youth And Young Manhood. Jared comes up with some pretty funky basslines (intro to Razz) and some nice licks here and there. Finally, Matthew has a slightly sloppy style on guitar. It fits KOL perfectly. He can also play really clean though, as heard in most of the tracks however his solos usually have a sloppy feel to them.

Caleb has to be one of the best frontmen ever (well, maybe not ever, but he sure is good!). His voice is instantly recognisealbe and his way of singing words makes their music sound a lot more original. He either has a screechy voice or sings in some kind of new language unknown to man. I actually found it quite fun trying to figure out the lyrics (of course my theories came nowhere near the actual words), especially in Four Kicks.

This album contains a greater mix of styles / tempo than the debut. Pistol Of Fire is a fast paced rocker, opening with a soft ride cymbal pattern before blasting out a catchy guitar riff. Milk is the opposite, a slow, emotional ballad featuring 80s synth keyboards (:eek: 80s keyboards in a KOL song?!) acoustic guitar and Nathan's driving bass drum keeping rhythm.

Highlights of the album:

- Simple but effective
- Good song & lyrical writing
- Good instrumentation
- A definate improvement on their first CD
- Drawing more ideas and showing off more influences

Downsides to the album:

- Still a bit samey
- Velvet Snow brings it down a bit

Tracks to look out for:

- Slow Night, So Long
- King of The Rodeo
- Pistol Of Fire
- Milk
- Razz
- Day Old Blues
- Four Kicks

As you can see, there is a mix of songs and styles, all the more to keep you hooked. If you liked their first album, buy this one too. Its a great improvment. If you didn't like their debut, at least try and listen to this because its quite different. And in a good way.

I give this album a 3.5 out of 5. (That doesn't mean its bad, I just feel 4 / 5 should be reserved for excellent / mind blowing albums)


user ratings (533)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mad_fer_it
May 23rd 2005


7 Comments


Not one mention of The Bucket? Next to Slow Night.. it's the bset song on there!

RushHourSoul
May 23rd 2005


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think its overrated IMO, theres much better on the album.

Serapheus
July 14th 2005


251 Comments


Four Kicks and The Bucket are my favs from this album. I haven't really paid attention to the others.

Senor_Whippy
September 5th 2005


367 Comments


I don't get the Kings Of leon.The media loves them but I just see them as a bland Country music act with amps.Overated god yeah!

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 5th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Boring.

Jawaharal
September 5th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

no kidding. This is extremely overrated

StrangelyBrewed13
September 11th 2005


14 Comments


If you think 4/5 should be reserved for amazing mind blowing albums...like Led Zeppelin 1 or Sergent Peppers. What would a 5/5.

Storm In A Teacup
September 11th 2005


13228 Comments


Horrible band I hate both their singles and what makes it worse is that I think their from where I live.

StigmataSD
November 4th 2005


43 Comments


I really like the drumming in The Bucket. It's taken forever for me to get it, but I finally figgered out how to play it.

BlinkMe-Rancid
November 28th 2005


35 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Like the album..

AtTheDriveIn198d
November 28th 2005


158 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

singer can't sing or write good lyrics, its an all round poor effort. At least mollys chamber was catchier and more rockish.

Zebra
Moderator
November 28th 2005


2647 Comments


I've only heard "The Bucket" and thought it was simply awful. The vocals are very poor, and the song was just bland and dull. I can't say much more, but judging from the single I don't think this band is very good.

airborne_411
January 29th 2006


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah all of you don't know good music when you hear it... all these guys in Kings of Leon are around 20 years old.... some of them can't even legaly drink yet. And any way, all I have to say is..... Milk. Yeah Kings of Leon are one of the best bands around.

icaught fire444
January 30th 2006


622 Comments


ive only heard 4 kicks. and i hate it. this band just sucks. and their drummer is stupid

thies007
February 13th 2006


12 Comments


this is one of my favorite albums i own, kings of leon are one of the best bands out their, alot of people don't know them cause all they listen to is either crappy rap or crappy bands like my chemical romance or fall out boy. kings of leon are 15 times as good as them.

matty boy
March 23rd 2006


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kings of leon are awesome. caleb followill has one of the most amazing voices. he sounds all over the place, yet he has a certain control over his voice, (a good example of this is in 'milk'). i love both there albums. icaught fire444; 'and their drummer is stupid'. what is that all about????? and by the way, i totally agree with thies007.


kiosk2081
March 24th 2006


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also agree with thies007, Kings of Leon are really good. This is one of my favorite CDs. I dont understand how anyone (who is educated about music) could dislike this band. They are really original and there aren't any real weaknesses in the band. This was a pretty good review, but i dont think you gave Jared Followhill enough Credit. There is not one song on this CD where the bass line mirrors the guitars, and that is hard to find in alternative rock these days. Thats it, excellent CD...This Message Edited On 03.23.06

FrankieFiasco
April 10th 2006


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I recently attended an Australian music festival (The Big Day Out) and was blown away by Kings of Leon. At the time I was only familiar with there first album, which I really didnít enjoy, and it puzzled me why they where one of the main acts. However, when they started playing some of there latest songs, the vibe I got was unbelievable, they blew me away. The first thing I did when I got home was rush out to get Aha Shake Heartbreak, now one of my all time favorites. King of the Rodeo, Milk, The Bucket, Day Old Blues and Where Nobody Knows take the cake. KOL are unique and incredible.
I canít wait to see whatís install for there next albumÖ
Nice review.


incubliss
April 24th 2006


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just really love this album, and I don't know really why. It surpasses the debut by a mile.

It's just so gloriusly simple and in that respect, beautiful. It's just so well crafted. I love Kaleb's voice also.

I don't think I actually dislike a song on this album!

someday__
May 3rd 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love this album. you people are stupid if you dislike it. the lyrics are awesome and the lead guitar is incredible.



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