Kings Of Leon

Come Around Sundown

Written by: TL on 15/11/2010 19:35:45

When I first heard "Radioactive", the first single from "Come Around Sundown", the much awaited follow-up to Kings Of Leon's massively popular 08 album "Only By The Night", it struck me instantly that the song didn't have anywhere near the hit-potential of songs like "Sex On Fire" and "Use Somebody", which highlighted the previous record. And for my first couple of listens to "Come Around Sundown", that feeling persevered, the album striking me as packing less of a punch, and possessing less of a drive, compared to what arguably blew OBTN up as much as was the case.

It has taken me little more than a handful of listens in total however, to practically do a 180 flip, realizing that this more laid back and relaxed version of Kings Of Leon might actually be one that could end up gathering more listens in the long run. Okay, so "Radioactive" isn't as instant a hit as "Sex On Fire", nor are any of the other new songs, however, they're also not as likely to make you feel like you've heard them one time too many. I think most of us have heard enough annoying co-workers or drunken nightlifers singing "whooooaaah-oh, ur sechz is on fiiiiire", to question once or twice if Kings Of Leon were really a band that we could openly appreciate, and the good news is that this is something we're unlikely to suffer as much as an effect of "Come Around Sundown".

If "Only By The Night" is considered as being, true to its title, a record that sounds like the time of night where things happen fast, with emotions swelling from beginning exhaustion and possible intoxication, then "Come Around Sundown" is, just as true to its title, the sound of the early dusk, crawling up on you lazily, as you casually prepare for the arrival of your friends for some summer night get-together. While Caleb Followill's croon is often just as impassionate as it's always been, the overall sound is dominated by a slower pace and a more confident groove. Especially bassist Jared deserves a lot of credit for constantly providing a backbone to the songs that maintain the listeners attention.

Talking about the actual songs, the Followill family has managed to produce with quite consistent quality. The first four tracks on offer are almost instantly enjoyable and recognizable, and while "Radioactive" will surely get the most attention for being the single, both opener "The End" and third track "Pyro" could be argued as being equally good. The record does hit a bump after them however, with "The Face" and "The Immortals" falling oddly short of making an impression anywhere near as strong as the opening quartet, and given how crucial it is to maintain the attention of today's impatient listeners here around the midpoint of the record, I would argue that these two could possibly have been omitted for the greater good.

Fortunately, things pick right back up on "Back Down South", and the rest of the ride is rather smooth, with regular points of memorability provided in songs like "Beach Side", "No Money" and "Birthday", the latter of which currently sits as my choice for the album highlight. Overall however, I'll maintain that things are consistent enough to boil the highlights-discussion down to a matter of personal preference, and that the important thing to realize about "Come Around Sundown" is that it is a slick slice of rock music, all cool and chilled and able to deliver delicious listening to almost all people - in almost all situations. So you better hurry up and enjoy it before it starts getting over-played everywhere.


Download: Radioactive, Birthday
For The Fans Of: Cold War Kids, Stereophonics, Arctic Monkeys, Glasvegas

Release Date 18.10.2010
Sony Music

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