While anticipating the Kings’ latest album, there was a lot of debate among fans. Would they go back to their garage-country-rock roots or continue with the arena rock and pop hits of the last album?
First off, let’s talk basics. The album contains 13 songs and a couple extras and remixes if you get the physical copy. A good number of songs for the money. However, the actual musical quality, is debatable. “Come Around Sundown” begins with a depressed and unpleasant Caleb Followill whining/singing about “the end,” which is also the name of the song. It isn’t completely unbearable; there are moments of brightness. Hope rises as the singer croons “tell you that you’re good enough, tell you that it’s gonna be tough.” The choruses are a little less satisfying, but I’ll save that for another critic.
After fading out with a bass-driven Southern twang, the next song begins.
Ah, this is better – old Kings’ style, I think. Well, that isn’t completely true. “Radioactive” combines the arena style of “Only by the Night” with the Southern sound the Kings were raised with. I could live with that.
The second to last track, “Mi Amigo,” is easily my favorite. Its bass-driven, easy-going melody rocks the song along with a calm unmatched by any other here. Followill’s performance is simply out of this world. It tells the story of a friend who helps Caleb stagger home one night after he has too much to drink. It’s the sort of song you would like to sing to all of your “amigos.”
Overall, “Come Around Sundown” is a neat album. It couples the old and new sounds of the band in all the best ways. One can definitely deal with the whining about being famous for all the gems that Kings of Leon produces. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who has ever enjoyed the Kings and even to those who have never heard of them. Perhaps, changing their sound isn’t such a bad idea after all.
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