Caroline Lewis, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Kings of Leon have established themselves as a solid rock band that shows its southern roots every track or so. Their music reminds you of cigarettes, the desert, beer and back-country.
Founded in Oklahoma and based out of Nashville, Kings of Leon have released a consistent stream of unique and successful tunes.
Their newest album, “WALLS,” We Are Like Love Songs, was released on Oct. 14. The majority of the songs on the album fit the acronym; like much of their music, there’s always a message of love or admiration, whether sincere or not.
Kings of Leon created “WALLS” with producer Markus Dravs (Florence & The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire), a change from their longtime producer Angelo Petraglia, and the difference in sound definitely shows on this album.
“WALLS” is a bit more polished than the raw and loveable sound they started off with in “Youth & Young Manhood” (“Trani” cannot be beat) but have slowly been moving away from, which showed in their 2014 album, “Mechanical Bull.”
The band released four singles from “WALLS” prior to the album release, each unique, that give listeners a decent insight into the diversity of the album.
“Waste a Moment” introduces itself with a chord progression familiar to the band’s previous releases. Throughout the song they maintain a lovely pattern of highs and lows with a consistent pace. The “ohhhhs” in the background of the chorus are staple in the band’s music.
“Reverend” has a sound that doesn’t need to be acquired. A simple, slow and intricate guitar tab starts the song off then picks up with Caleb’s voice and the rest of the band. The tempo changes throughout the song, keeping you interested. When the drums come in at “The truth in the skies from the billowing eyes isn’t working on me,” the songs pulls you back in.
Although it’s the album’s namesake, “WALLS” vibes completely differently than the rest of the album. It’s slow and low and hits you in the feels (sorry, had to). “You tore out my heart / And you threw it away.” Deep and heavy piano direct much of the song with some plucks of acoustic guitar to twang it up. Kings of Leon doesn’t have too many heartbreak tracks, but the lyrics in “WALLS” clearly reek of heartache, and the melody flows along beautifully.
“Around The World” starts off with solid and hyper guitar with a funky bass underneath (naturally, thank you, Jared) and keeps the tempo up throughout the song. The chorus is a bit too repetitive for such an upbeat song but it makes for a fun and loving song that makes you want to drink a wine spritzer on the beach.
Another track that deserves mention, while not a single, is “Muchacho.” This track is easily one of my favorites on the album. The song sounds like a dedication to an old friend. “He’d let you rise / Then take the fall / He was my favorite friend of all.” It has a special “cha-cha” sound gives you the image of an old bar in the middle of the desert or maybe a Tarantino film.
Applause for Kings of Leon for always doin’ their thing and not sticking to what’s expected. I will always look forward to what they’re cooking up next.