Kings of Leon to me, are a band that crossed by like a flash in the pan. For so long I was irritated at how they weren’t getting the credit they deserved. They always seemed like a very direct and intelligent group, with a blend of hard rock and modern indie that was so addictive and fresh. ‘Because of the Times’ is one of my favourite modern rock albums which really began to showcase to others that this group had something special. Then the stratospheric album ‘Only by the Night’ dropped and I’ve got to say, it was a masterstroke. They refined their sound, picked a broader audience and produced an incredibly educated album that blew up around the world. With mega hits like ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’ headlining the track listing, they became THE band to listen to during the 2009 to 2010 period. However since then, they’ve really dropped the ball. They started creating very country-orientated, southern sounding tracks which just didn’t suit their style whatsoever. This fake earthy persona continued from EP to album and I think the group largely found themselves in a huge identity crisis. They dropped off the map commercially with each track scarcely touching the tracks but luckily their live performance skills just about kept them in relevancy. Having said all this, what did I think of the new track?
Well, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. There were elements I thought that were decent enough to cut the Kings of Leon proverbial bill, but there were other huge downsides that left me feeling ‘meh’ about the composition. I thought the track was mixed well with each layer sounding well pronounced and hence it allowed for a huge sound wall to be created with some really beautiful instrumental harmonies on showcase. I thought some of the little melodic progressions and ostinato’s played on the lead guitar worked well on the chorus. Vocally I thought the track again was well produced, but it felt a little forced and unnatural. On the one side he was powering out the hook with some real passion, but then I felt the accent seemed off at other times (it might of been dependent on the syllable sang) and the sincerity just dropped. Lyrically the song was thin and really lacked some development in the choruses, I’m all for simple phrasing for hooks but it felt repetitive by the time the final chorus came around. Musicality wise the track was standard, simple progressions, simple common time beats, simple instrumental dynamics and nothing really to note of importance. Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough in terms of variation and development, each section sounded the same just with the inclusion of more synth towards the end; it felt like one long chorus. All in all the track is a little forgettable and safe, but it isn’t bad either, it’s a difficult one to rate really.
6/10 – Better than the majority of ‘big’ act tracks I’ve heard this week with some positive ideas on showcase, but really nothing of memorable value here.