TURN IT UP: Studio glitz can’t polish a dull ‘Kings’ record

by Staff

Come Around Sundown, Kings of Leon Copyright Courtesy of Kings of Leon

Drew Scoggins, Staff Writer

The buildup to Kings of Leon’s new album, “Come Around Sundown,” has been agony for longtime fans. Kings of Leon had just broken through to the mainstream with its smash record, “Only By The Night.” Propelled by the soaring anthems “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire,” Kings of Leon turned from a relatively unknown rock ‘n’ roll band from the South to an overnight sensation.

So then the question was what the group would  do next. The band seemed to be on the precipice with “Only By the Night,” an album that had some U2-esque moments, but certain songs still retained the gritty swagger that showed the band still knew where it came from.

“Come Around Sundown” shows the inevitable tumble into arena-ready, radio-friendly and completely boring territory. Gone are any shining instances of the snarling and passionate band of “Youth and Young Manhood.” Instead, the listener is stuck with another overproduced and unoriginal bit of studio work. The entire album is lethargic and the songs bleed into one another without much notice from the listener. Queue simple repeated guitar riffs with heavy effects, splashy drums, moaning halfhearted lyrics and repeat ad nauseum. There are no real dynamics between songs and although one song may be slightly more up-tempo than the one previous, it all feels more like elevator music.

Although all fans want their favorite band to change and mature, they always hold out hope that when the band finally breaks through, it will remember its old fans. “Selling out” is a term that is often erroneously thrown out to describe a band that is successful, but the phrase is properly used to describe a band that that has become so wrapped up in the glitzy recording studio and the rock lifestyle that it forgets what is really important: the music, the passion and the fans who loved them for it.

Come Around Sundown, Kings of Leon:

Label: RCA Records

Grade: F+

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