Kings of Leon
Youth and Young Manhood



by Senor_Whippy USER (22 Reviews)
February 16th, 2006 | 38 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

I was flicking through the NME about 3 years ago now when I came across an section of the magazine that had been dedicated to an upcoming American band called Kings Of Leon. There was a photo of the band underneath the title of 'What King Of Leon Look Like Without A Drink' or something stupid like that. The photo then pointed out signs of the band's 'blank looks' and 'sober eyes'. Yes this is the NME I'am talking about, the same NME that helped Sex Pistols, The Smiths and Oasis crack the mainstream. Now there showing us what a bunch of Americans look like without a beer.

If you thought that was so stupid and pointless, you should listen to the Kings of Leon themselfs. Think Lynard Skynard with an iPod. Their basically a modern day Country Blues act. There's no real progession in their sound and there lyrics are often unbearable yet they've sold a ton of records and get the NME seal of approvel.

Sure they are some moments of greatness. 'California Waiting', 'Red Morning Light' and 'Molly's Chambers' are both packed at the seems with energy even if there not the most lyrically special of tracks (the chorus to 'Molly's Chambers' is basically made up of words that rhythm with ''moma''). But when a track as urgent as 'Red Morning Light' hits you, you don't really care about the song's meaning you just go with the flow. This is all well and good but the Kings barely change the structure. Every track is a ramshackle Blues Rock song. Apart from the lo-fi 'Dusty' and the horribly titled 'Trani'. The latter been a slow- tempoted, slow- burning Soul song with the intention to show off the King's softer side. Instead it shows how boring this band really are. Clocking in at just over five minutes long, 'Trani' is drags on terribly with it's bland Guitar strumming and repeative Drumming all topped off by Caleb's whining vocals. 'Trani' is made worse by the fact that it's sandwiched between two fast paced Rock tracks like 'California Waiting' and 'Joe's Head', making 'Trani' more of a unwanted interlude than a Soulful chill out.

What really bores you with the Kings is their sound, That Blues- tinged Country Rock sound you've heard a million times over. They sound like the Rolling Stones without the swagger or attitude or The Who after too much Moon Shine. But Caleb Followill is no Mick Jagger or Roger Daltrey. His vocals are bland and lazy with the often outburst of demanted howling and confused rambling. It's not enjoyable or progessive it's just plain stupid. And the lyrics aren't that mind blowing either, they lack intent and thought and instead sound like they could be sung by a 40 year old Pub singer. 'Happy Alone' could be the jolly, fuzzy Pop strum-along it first starts out to be - but it's killed by awful singing and dreadful lyrics (''I'm gonna tangle my face hair, it's gonna tickle your daughter, At 3 o' Clock and the moaning, they all cry to me, I'l; be prancin' around in my high heels, and your cherry red lipstick''). No I don't know either. Things fail to pick up Lyric-wise on 'Joe's Head' (''This is just the way of the world Joe said, I had to put a bullet into his head, Then lit up a cigarette, decided to call his fat friend fred''. Bob Dylan should not feel threaten. 'Spiral Staircase' is a strong contender for worst track on the album. Caleb sounds like a hyperactive Donald Duck and the lyrics are completly pointless (''Spiral Staircase going down, paint your body red and brown'').

But thankful we are saved by 'Molly Chamber's', the album's second single (and a pretty big hit too) and one of it's very few highlights. It's a short sharp and dirty Rock n' Roll song. The vocals aren't a off-put and the Guitar work is very catchy and enjoyble, if the rest of 'Youth And Young Manhood' was like this I would be a very happy listener. The album's other big hit single is 'Wasted Time' a half decent track ruined by Caleb mumled vocals (that guy can't do anything right can he) but it has moments of greatness when the Guitars screech and the Drums speed up and you forget how bad the Kings can be.

The album's closer 'Holy Roller Novocaine' is just what you'd expect to finish the album off. It's another slow-burning Blues-tinged track with dumb pointless lyrics and the odd outburst of demanted vocals and loud dymamics. I'd write something interesting about the track but to be honest I lost interest half away though and started feeling rather bummed out that I decided to buy this instead of the new José Gonzŕlez record. But that's a different story.

Kings Of Leon are a band who split people down the middle. Some people love their worry- free Blues Rock whlist others who search for something deeper and more meaningful will be left in the cold. The main problem is the Kings don't seems to have an original idea between them plus they seem to be marooned in a world of trashy lyrics and retarded vocals and desperately need to be saved.

+ Some decent tracks
+ Guitars are often catchy and refreshing
+ The Cd was half price

- Terrible Vocals
- Dreadful Lyrics
- Repeative

California Waiting
Molly's Chambers
Red Morning Light

Thanks For Reading!

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 16th 2006


Nice Review!!
I hate this band though...god their singer sounds like nails on a chalkboard. Plus, its my ex's favorite they can go F themselves...

February 16th 2006


pretty good review, you need to run it through a spell checker though. The album doesn't sound as bad as a 1.5 with the way you described it.

Zesty Mordant
February 16th 2006


There's a lot of spelling and grammar errors and other times you kinda go off on some rants. Otherwise, solid review.

And yeah, these guys are pretty lame. If you want to hear good and original Southern rock these days, Drive-by Truckers is where its at.

February 16th 2006


good review.

absolutely unbearably bad band!!!

February 16th 2006


I like KoL!! This album isn't very good though, their second is far superior.

February 16th 2006


Nice review, I agree. Molly's Chambers was indeed catchy but the rest here do nothing for me.

February 16th 2006


This is superior to their second album. The vocals aren't lazy and aren't bland. I like his voice. Maybe its because I'm a southener or something. I think you went into a bash happy mode and were way too overcritical of this.

February 17th 2006


Quality review. Things were a little hard to read at times but you did a good job at covering everything about the album.
Kings of Leon make some of the most boring, and dull music I have ever heard. I don't have this album, but have not liked one single song that I have listened to.

February 17th 2006


molly's chambers is the only good song by them. everything else just plain sucks. good review

June 10th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

yea.... my ex friends favorite band... loser... kings of leon are great.

September 13th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

hey senor whippy won't you go spank yourself while listening to some collective soul or something. Kings of Leon are genious. not to mention how young they are, and were when they wrote this album. and you say they\'re not original? Trani was well titled and awesome. Though I like most of your taste in music it seems if this brilliant band with exceptional vocal delivery who sound nothing like Lynyrd Skynyrd can\'t give you the \"satisfaction\" mick does after you get done sucking him off. Skynyrd? they sound more like sonic youth than skynyrd. ask ed vedderThis Message Edited On 09.13.06

September 14th 2006


yea seriously u suckl


November 13th 2006


Originally posted by kudsun

Kings of Leon are genious

Trani was well titled and awesome

Lynyrd Skynyrd can't give you the "satisfaction"

I love the newbie kids on here :-D

December 15th 2006


great band, great album, bad review

November 11th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Trani is actually such an amazing song. reminds me of a cross between Dylan and something else totally awesome. Nothing better than chilling with the Kings.

December 28th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Listen to Joe's Head, at 3:05 or roundabouts the piano plays a little lick that sounds incredibly similar to the Nokia ringtone. Just throwing it out there.

July 4th 2008


i think this is an amazing album and plays very well as a whole. yeah his voice is different, but it really grew on me. It has a lot of emotion behind it and at times even hard to understand what they are saying but that is what i like. It allows you to catch most of what he is saying then lets you fill in the slurs with your imagination from his emotion. But that might just be cause i am from the South. About the meat of the songs i agree that they are not the deepest but from what i have heard they were from a religious background and had no real exposure to much music other than what they did in the church. So after a late introduction they took what they heard and were inspired to create something but didnt have much personal experience to write about. With how quick they developed at their instruments and after hearing profound jumps in their skill between albums i think they have a chance of being great. I cant wait for the 4th to arrive to see where they are going to take this. and i am a newbie kid too so i guess i should act like one...

July 29th 2008


Don't agree with anything you said but still great review. :thumb:

November 27th 2008


In response to MyRamona: [ "Trani is actually such an amazing song. reminds me of a cross between Dylan and something else totally awesome." ]
That something else totally awesome is Lou Reed.

January 20th 2009


I think he's got a fantastic vocal, actually one of the greatest rock vocals still alive. And this is their best record so far. Their newer stuff doesn't appeal to me that much . So I pretty much disagree with everything you wrote in your review. Still I like "deeper" stuff too but this is one of my favorite records because it makes me smile and spontaneously dance around, and yet there are still some heartfelt moments according to me. I think the hidden track is one of their best. Sorry for my language but I'm not english...

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