Review: Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown
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Two years after the collossal success of Only By The Night, the Tennessee rockers find themselves taking a step back to their roots with their fifth studio album.
With the flames of 'Sex on Fire' extinguished, the four piece see themselves igniting rock songs with a country twist that makes Come Around Sundown an engaging and enjoyable record, but ultimately leaves them travelling the same musical avenues they have explored before.
Not that fans of their previous work would complain; the U2-esque anthems are still here - it's hard not to picture huge festival crowds with their arms in the air chanting the chorus of 'Radioactive' the same way they did for 'Sex On Fire'. It's first single off the record and gives a good indication of the general 'back to our rock country roots' style that Come Around Sundown incorporates.
On 'Radioactive' under a rain of seismic guitars Caleb sings 'It's in the water, it's where you came from'. Couple this with him chanting 'I'm going back down south now' later on in the record and it's clear that the Kings are attempting to hint they are returning back to their earlier sound as they endearingly wink back to when they were playing to 50 people instead of 50,000.
Maybe that's the problem that prevents the record from moving forward purposely in a new direction. The album ebbs and flows too often between sounds of their past records; the country-styled anthem 'Back down South' would sit comfortably on second album Aha-shake Heartbreak.
The grunge guitar riffs pulsating on 'The Immortals' and 'Mary' could be off-cuts from Because of the Times. Through all of this, Caleb again finds himself singing cliche lyrics such as 'I've got no money but I want you soo'.
However, at its best, Come Around Sundown infests itself on you; with the bubble-gum, sunshine guitar riffs coupled with Caleb's picture-painting lyrics ("underneath the stars, where we parked the cars") it's hard not to picture yourself on the beach watching the sun set - the very image from the albums artwork.
The albums strongest track, 'Back Down South', leaves a Tom Petty romantic country melody drifting around your head whilst tracks such as 'The End', 'Pyro' and 'No Money' show Kings of Leon at their rock best: blazing guitars over a voice that encapsulates the angst and rebellion of a band looking to leave their Tennessee rock footprint over the music world.
Ultimately Come Around Sundown sustains Kings of Leon's grip over the rock world rather than branching out to even bigger places. Its songs will find themselves embedded in your head and they will leave crowds in the same euphoria as their last album did. It's not perfect, nor is it majorly different to what they have done before, but the country laden rock anthems will further reinstate the US four piece as contenders for the biggest rock band in the world.