Kings of Leon
Come Around Sundown


3.5
great

Review

by Sam Feldman's Rating USER (66 Reviews)
October 12th, 2010 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


It seems as though Kings Of Leon have created their best album since, well, ever with Come Around Sundown. Kings Of Leon have always been fairly competent musicians; 4 relatives hailing from the Tennessee area providing a slightly southern-tinged alt-rock sound that feels strangely familiar and yet original for mainstream music. Five albums into their career and it's apparent that Kings Of Leon have found their sound, their groove; while Because Of The Times had some truly rocking tracks that propelled Kings Of Leon into the minds of people worldwide, it also had a handful of subpar tracks that really brought the album down from being a staple in the past decade's mainstream arena. Also, their most commercially successful album Only By The Night had a number of songs that would dominate the radio for much of 2008-09 like the heartwarming "Use Somebody" and the sensual, gritty southern shroud of "Sex On Fire", and yet the album sounded watered down and at times felt like Kings Of Leon were playing it safe.

And that leaves us at Come Around Sundown which is essentially Only By The Night with confidence. It's undoubtably more dynamic, throwing in little shifts in sound like the distant piano ending of the wonderfully ironic "The End" which begins the album. Caleb Followhill has always had some set of pipes, belting out high notes with a southern twang that was infectious and soothing, yet on Only By The Night he's never convincing. Even though his lyrics are rarely magical or memorable, Caleb's voice is strong enough to propel his words through, but on Only By The Night he sounded flat, devoid of courage, even hesitant. But here on Come Around Sundown, Caleb allows his voice to accompany the music at hand, instead of trying to dominate the record, and in turn he sounds more couragous and passionate than ever. By using more restraint and focus in his singing, by allowing the music to bloom with him and not behind him, Kings Of Leon sound more like an unstoppable force than they've ever been. "Pyro" showcases this new found sense of union, as Caleb's toned-down cries are a lovely aid to the meloncholic guitar playing and rigid tom-tom work. Jared's bass playing is still arguably the best part of Kings Of Leon's sound, as he showcases his sporatic rhythm and quick tempo shifts in the blissful, fast paced "No Money". Jared is also never drowned out in the sound, which is a mark of the clear production on Come Around Sundown; everything sounds crisp, tight, and luminous.

While Come Around Sundown keeps a steady aesthetic akin to its album title, Kings Of Leon unfortunately don't sway that much in terms of songwriting experimentation or virtuosity. Perhaps that's not what they're here for, it just would have been nice to hear something from them that doesn't sound like them at all. While one could say it's a band attempting to perfect their craft, I believe that the road Kings Of Leon have decided to walk down is a short one, and that the way they are going they will eventually run out of slight changes to their core formula and hit a dead end. But for now they are walking as forceful as they possibly can, down a road parallel to the shore, enjoying what they do, and doing it confidently. And that is something to applaud.



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user ratings (411)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Alex Robertson STAFF (4)
...

Jeremy Aaron (3.5)
The Followills are back with another sturdy set of songs-- not the stuff of legend, but solid enough...

rustee182 (4)
The Kings of Leon certainly do not crack under the pressure of Rock 'n' Roll super stardom by making...

doug (4.5)
Long live the new kings....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
October 12th 2010


15941 Comments


Excellent review, Sam. I'm leaning towards a 3-3.5, so I'm glad to see a review I can relate to more. Pos'd.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

EVedder27
October 12th 2010


6088 Comments


you are a machine

Band has never really interested me

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2010


31353 Comments


Great review, shame about the rating though....

Oh well, pos'd

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Gyromania
October 12th 2010


15941 Comments


Edit: there are several of places that need commas, but I tend to miss a lot of then when writing my reviews also. I'm sure a read or two through and you'll catch them.

SeaAnemone
October 12th 2010


20520 Comments


starting sentences with "and" is something you should avoid in writing, generally

other than that it's a fantastic, clear review, nice job! I've said it, and it's been said, but you're really on a roll

Digging: Pharmakon - Bestial Burden

EVedder27
October 12th 2010


6088 Comments


charlie kelly gives good advice

Gyromania
October 12th 2010


15941 Comments


Man, I need to get on a roll, I really do.

EVedder27
October 13th 2010


6088 Comments


get on the roll, because once you stop, it isn't easy finding the motivation to come back. Just look at my activity the past few months.

Gyromania
October 13th 2010


15941 Comments


I want to have one out tomorrow, and I'm aiming to have 25 posted up by Christmas

EVedder27
October 13th 2010


6088 Comments


good question. I think I'm gonna do Bad Books when that comes out (think next week) but I don't have a lot of time with school work and all.

xfearbefore
October 13th 2010


1245 Comments


Good review as usual Sam. Can't say I agree with most of your thoughts though, gave this album a listen on the stream earlier and I wanted to bash my head through my wall.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 13th 2010


10611 Comments


never heard of a single song from these guys

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2010


7311 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Great review, pos.

And I'd like to get me a roll too ahahaha. There's just this elephant called school in the way.

Powerban
October 13th 2010


2380 Comments


Wait until they overplay this and you hate it like Only By The Night. Radioactive is already getting pretty massive airplay.

I got into these guys because of On Call and Fans and worked my way back from there. Only By The Night came out and I loved it, only for the radio to totally destroy it.

At least they didn't destroy Closer which is still my favourite song.



Douglas
October 13th 2010


9115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

obviously disagree, but yeah nice write up!

Digging: The Preatures - Blue Planet Eyes

Powerban
October 13th 2010


2380 Comments


Are you worried about this being overplayed Doug? It really destroyed my experience with the last one so I'm going to stay away for now.

Douglas
October 13th 2010


9115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well, I can see how radio stations will probably play on it for a while - since OBTN - but, hopefully it doesn't, but alas, I'd say it will.

LepreCon
October 13th 2010


4141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Better than OBTN but still playing it a little too safe for my liking

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2010


16407 Comments


great review no way does this deserve 2 negs

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

NigelH
October 13th 2010


1571 Comments


Good review, but lead singer's last name is "Followill" not "Followhill'



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