Album of the Week: Kings of Leon, 'WALLS'

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Kings of Leon, 'Walls'
Kings of Leon, 'Walls' (RCA)

Listening to a Kings of Leon album is like listening to the soundtrack to a movie about four guys in a rock band. This makes sense because for the last 15 years, Kings of Leon — comprising brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill, together with their cousin Matthew Followill — have been writing and recording songs about their lives playing music together. Of course, things have changed since they helped put the Nashville rock scene on the map with their brand of Southern rock.

The journey to becoming a celebrity rock band comes through on Kings of Leon's seventh studio album, WALLS, as Caleb Followill sings about life on the road like it's a scene from a blockbuster romance. As a band, Kings of Leon consistently mine their sense of romanticism in both their sound and lyrics. The titled being an acronym for "We Are Like Love Songs," gives away their motivation to be a rock act who sing about emotions, and there is no lack of feelings on the new album. The lead single and opening track, "Waste A Moment," sounds like an anthem for those without regrets. It's a subtly complex song that becomes even more interesting when you watch the accompanying music video. Is this a song about the band who see themselves as the same young dudes who started a family band? Or is there something darker underneath? They leave that up to you to decide.

Somehow Kings of Leon rework rock clichés as if they will never go out of style. They started to abandon their Southern-rock roots with the commercial breakthrough of 2008's Only By The Night, and it seems they aren't looking back. The production on WALLS is a return to that moment when Kings of Leon effortlessly shed the grit of their garage-band past. The guitar-driven hooks are big and slick, while the vocals have more of the same reverb that crept into Kings of Leon's sophomore effort and eventually became Caleb Followill's signature sound.

What you can decipher from WALLS is that Kings of Leon have a sense of longing for the party they started more than a decade ago. The description of an endless night out on "Over" doesn't leave anything up to your imagination as Caleb sings, "Quaaludes on Christmas Eve and all the good times we've ever seen." The emotion and meaning behind each song on WALLS fits a thread of Caleb Followill traveling around with his band looking for love around the corner. It's a great soundtrack to their lives and exactly the album their most dedicated fans have come to expect.

Kings of Leon's WALLS is out now on RCA Records.

Resources


Kings of Leon - official site


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