Tennessee rockers Kings of Leon get back to their country roots with their fifth studio album “Come Around Sundown,” released Oct. 19.
The 13-track record begins in usual Kings of Leon fashion with a large, overdone bass played with drums in the song “The End.”
Its sound, reminiscent of the preceding album “Only By The Night,” eases the transition for the listener with the repetitive chorus, “this could be the end,” which rattles in and around your brain faster than any trip on the subway.
The irresistible “Radioactive,” the flagship track of the album, follows next with a very spiritual feeling. With his raspy voice, lead singer Caleb Followill effortlessly belts out the haunting chorus, “It’s in the water. It’s in the story of where you came from.”
The album evokes a sense of confusion as you listen to it, with tracks such as “The Face” and “The Immortals” sounding like they’ve been plucked from somewhere between the band’s sophomore album, “Aha Shake Heartbreak,” and junior album, “Because Of The Times.” Somewhat mediocre, the tracks sound out of place on this album and lack a certain quality that Kings of Leon have achieved in the past.
“Mary” makes up for this with one of the best openings since “Sex On Fire.” Its powerful, energetic sound plunges into a guitar solo, which quickly switches into Followill’s striking vocals. The singer belts out an ode to the aforementioned female, telling her, “I’ll dance like your boyfriend”, and, “No I won’t, never once, make you cry.”
The nostalgic “Back Down South” is one of the greatest songs on this album and it sends the group back to its basics in theme and sound. The track has a country-like feel, setting the scene of the band’s roots in Franklin, Tennessee.
“Beach Side,” the band’s self-admitted B-side track, is a step in a new direction for Kings of Leon. Experimenting, the four-piece band lets go with this track. Suitably titled, it has that happy-go-lucky beach day vibe to it while keeping its charisma and charm.
The edgy, yet playful “No Money” strikes a chord as one of the more rocky tunes on the album. Its fresh feel complements Followill’s husky vocals.
The album lacks the power of over-played, commercialized “Only By The Night,” but keeps the personality of debut album “Youth and Young Manhood.” Stepping off the pop track, Kings of Leon’s album is not a ground-breaking hit, but fingers crossed, its sixth album will be.