To me it seems like Kings Of Leon have been around on the music scene forever. The band of brothers (and a cousin) have been making music since 2000, and their sound has evolved from grungy alternative rock to become more indie and acoustic. Kings Of Leon started promotion for their latest record, WALLS, earlier this year with the release of the single Waste A Moment – you can watch the video here:
Public opinion of the band’s sound has shifted over the years, with many fans critical of their more easily accessible, and in turn more mainstream, recent records. To me it sounds like their more chilled out vibes, first explored in Come Around Sundown, then followed up in Mechanical Bull and now their latest record, will be here to stay. If I’m in the mood for more chilled out, acoustic tracks, Kings Of Leon are my first choice of band to listen to.
Anyway, back to WALLS, which was released on Friday. The record opens with Waste A Moment, arguably the most popular single from the album with a monster chorus, and is quickly followed by the slower, bass-y Reverend. The album doesn’t fall into a predictable groove, however: Find Me picks up the pace with quick-fire guitar riffs and a big chorus, and Conversation Piece features sweeping strings which adds something special to what could have been a simple ballad.
Lyrically this album is pretty downbeat and introspective. Vocalist Caleb sings about the death of a friend on Muchacho, which wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack to a country and western film. The album’s title is an acronym standing for ‘We Are Like Love Songs’, and as the title track discusses how difficult it is to move on when a relationship fails, this title is definitely appropriate.
I’ve really enjoyed Kings Of Leon’s past releases – and I still do, to be fair – so it’s safe to say that I had pretty big expectations for WALLS. To me, this latest album is the logical follow-up to Mechanical Bull, and the band have become even more chilled, which I didn’t think was possible. I reckon that now the Followill lads are onto their seventh album, they’ve probably just stopped caring what critics and fans think, and decided to make the music that they want to. If that means more relaxed indie vibes from them in future, then I’ll be happy.
Highlights: Reverend, Over, Eyes On You, Wild