The story of Kings Of Leon tends to begin with their excellent debut Youth and Young Manhood and the band’s rise as a dirty (and lovable) southern rock band that was perceived as a CCR for the millennial generation. Then the story goes on to follow the band’s rise to stadium rockstars i.e. Only by the Night and “Sex on Fire” in which the band traded in their rock and roll heritage (and some would also say their credibility) for U2 comparisons and radio airtime. Then there comes their tragic fall with Come Around Sundown, an album that, though not necessarily bad, was a little too polished and wasn’t as catchy as Only by the Night. Soon the band was experiencing internal conflict, and that, combined with the commercial backlash of Come Around Sundown, hinted at the possibility of a breakup.
If this story is true, and that Kings Of Leon are in an all-or-nothing situation to prove their relevance as a rock band in 2013, then Mechanical Bull can be seen as their redemption album. Fans who still believe that the band could make another Youth and Young Manhood will find some solace in songs like “Supersoaker”, “Rock City” and “Temple”, which serve as proof that the band can still write great rock songs. For everyone else, this album has plenty of memorable moments, but nothing is as single-worthy as “Sex on Fire”, but for the sake of the band that’s probably a good thing.
In a year that was already full of crazy releases, a new King Of Leon album seemed like the least likely thing to catch my attention. But I must say, Kings Of Leon have proven with Mechanical Bull that they are still relevant.
Turn this album all the way up and enjoy.
Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber