Release Date: October 15, 2010
Kings of Leon return once more with their fifth studio album Come Around Sundown. The success of their previous album Only by the Night, made them a household name. As a result, many (including me) were eager to see how success would affect the direction of their music. The verdict? Good, certainly not great. The fixture of palm trees on the album cover makes me think of lazy days on the beach. Sadly and all too often, the album seems a bit lazy. Though there are some high points, Come Around Sundown sounds like a band that’s weery of its own success. Gone are the big choruses and the anthemic stadium-filling sound. In its place, songs so subdued that it makes you wonder if they spent much of the recording sessions on prozac.
The album is well intentioned. Hell, the first half is pretty good. The first single “Radioactive” is the sort of upbeat rocker you’ve come to expect from K-O-L. Songs like “Pyro” and “The Immortals,” also shine as they allow lead guitarist Matthew and bassist Jared to show off some great chops. The latter might even make Sting blush. Not to be outdone, they take on doo-wop and succeed with the song “Mary.” But that’s where the compliments end, as there are several misfires. They pay homage to their southern roots, with the tune “Back Down South” and the idea is great. But once you get past that first verse and chorus, you find yourself wondering “is that it?” Limp filler songs like “Beach Side” just reinforce the problem that I have with the album as a whole; all too often the songs are lazy.
There are some great moments here, but there are more misses than hits as the Followill clan sounds all too often like they just didn’t have it in them to make a great album.
Choice Cuts: Radioactive, Pyro, The Immortals