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Come Around Sundown - Kings of Leon

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Artist: Kings of Leon / Audio CD released 2010-10-18 at RCA

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      18.09.2011 10:46
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      A fantastic offering from the southern boys. This needs to be in your album collection.

      This is the fifth studio album from rock gods Kings of Leon. They gained major appeal with the release of 'Sex on fire" from the 4th album "Only by the night". But they have been producing some stand out classic rock tunes from their very first album including 'Molly's chambers" from "Youth and young manhood". This album was released in October 2010. It was highly anticipated and for good reason as this is a kick ass record through and through. The first song on the album "The end" has a great hook and a nice rolling drum beat, with Caleb's vocals that could melt butter producing some fantastic lyrics. A melodic electric guitar riff weaved through really makes this a stand out track. Other must hear tracks are some of the singles that were released "radioactive" and "Pyro" . They are first three on the album and all crackers, so you know you're in for something special. The rest of the songs are brilliant, but if you don't immediately think wow, give them a few listens. I found a few of them to be slow burners, and now they are some of my favourites. As the title and the album artwork suggests this is one of their more laid back albums. It shows a maturity in their music. If you were to compare their first album with this one you would probably think they were two different bands. Their earlier work was much more grungy and indie, whereas today I think it's a lot more commercial. But that's not a bad thing. I think their music is still knock out, it's just more people like it these days. I could talk about KOL forever but I won't bore you. I'll let you make your own mind up. I can say however you wont be disappointed.

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        25.07.2011 19:36
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        Happy album with catchy tunes that will be great to listen too during the summer if we get much sun

        The 5th album from the now very popular King's of Leon. The band had many gem's of tunes from their first few lesser known albums and built up a very good and devoted following though they had not quite reached mainstream success. The band hailing from Nashville USA eventually reached more commercial success and wider recognition for the singles "use somebody" and "Sex on Fire" from their last album only by the night. Too the die hard's from the start this album signalled the band "selling out" and giving up their old ways where they'd blow away listeners with loud fast paced songs like "red morning light" and "Molly's Chamber" and exchanged these songs for one's that would appeal to more people. For this reason everyone was awaiting the new album announced to be released late 2010 early 2011 will they return to basics and the sound they started out with or continue on the road that gained them more success with more polished songs? Recently I went to see this band play at the local football stadium and though it featured alot of their older material it was peppered with some of the happy tunes featured on this newest Album. ***Track List*** 1. The End 2. Radioactive 3. Pyro 4. Mary 5. The Face 6. The Immortals 7. Back down South 8. Beach Side 9. No Money 10. Pony Up 11. Birthday 12. Mi amigo 13. Pick up ***General*** When buying and listening through an album, listening to lyrics and looking at what is being said about it I can usually get a general feel about the mood of the album for example the new album Relapse by Eminem is clearly all about his journey and recovery from drug addiction and rehab and is an upbeat album looking at life and focusing on getting back to what he does best. This album emanates a sense of happiness and cheery mood from a band that at times have had their strops and down moments with songs like revelry and cold desert from past albums though brilliant songs giving off sombre tones. This album feels different. Upbeat tunes that will make you feel happy. Even the title of the album and the summery front cover indicate this is an album from a band that is now happy where they are at and writing positive songs to show so. The album once again has gained commercial success on a wider scale that im positive the die hards of yesteryear will once again grumble about but no one can begrudge a band that have tried so hard for years touring and playing to millions a bit of reward for all their efforts. I will get into which songs from the album have been released and so on as I look at each song that stands out but the band have announced a massive UK stadium tour for June (Including on my door step in Sunderland) and a few festival headline spots off the back of this record so things appear to be going very well indeed. Just also to note the album was released a day earlier in the UK than the US on the 18th of October 2010 and this indicates the bands fondness of the UK and the fans here who they have always maintained were the first fans to truly embrace them right at the beginning. ***The End*** The album quite ironically starts with "the end" and it would fool you into thinking the whole album is going to be downbeat because it is the slowest out of all the tracks on this album and personally would have began with something else. Though a rather slow song it is still a great listen and lead singer Caleeb reminds you of why he has one of rocks most unique and powerful voices. The song is all about reflecting on how things can end at any moment maybe a reference to the careers of themselves and the band. ***Radioactive*** This track begins to be more in keeping with the overall upbeat theme of the whole piece. It is difficult to tell exactly what the song is about though many derive it to be about the typical "doesn't matter what colour or creed you are were all human". The tune features the usual Kings riffs and excellent drum work coupled with the as always powerful voice of the lead singer. This track is the first one to be released as a single from the new album and is a good pick off an album that features a few potential singles. ***Pyro*** The second single to be released and personally a favourite of mine. It plays through at a nice steady pace for the listener and is apparently about an event in US where a group of Christians were killed by the police though that may just be rumour. For those who want to get a jist of how good easy listening and catchy this song is I suggest listening to their live performance on Jools Holland where the band blew away the audience with none other than Eric Clapton watching ***Back Down South*** Potentially the third single or at least if I had to choose it would be. It has the feel of a good old fashioned deep south of America tune that I could picture listening and singing along too while driving through the dusty roads of the US. Anyway back to reality I test anyone who loves this band and listens to this album to not be singing along to this cheerful tune before long ***Best of Rest*** I understand that in all albums usually unless its an absolute great (which this probably is not) there are songs that have the feel of "time fillers" that were maybe added to fill the album and wont be seen making waves in the charts and this album does have a few of those that sound very similar without any really distinguishing feature. However "Mary" track 4 is a beautiful song apparently referring to marriage and has no shortage of trade mark deep screams from the lead singer and catchy lyrics. It stands out for me as another potential single to be released. No money track 9 has the feel of the old school kings of Leon back and this track is probably the only one that does so indicating that the band have more then likely continued in the commercial chasing direction. ***To Sum Up*** I have liked every album released by this band there's something about their consistency in releasing contagious songs that make you want to sing along or lyrics that appeal to me and its obvious im not alone judging by the fact the album got to number 1 world wide. I am certain that this album does not have the sound of the old style and for that reason once more questions will be raised by some if they have decided to sell out once again in pursuit of cash. If they have so what, they deserve it and the songs may have progressed from the Kings of old but who says change is a bad thing? Thanks for reading

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        19.05.2011 09:20
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        This is a great album for the true fans of the Kings of Leon. They really have a love for their job.

        Unlike most people, I was highly impressed with this album by the Kings of Leon. In just a few years, this band has grown up right before our eyes, and critics constantly fail to recognize that or give them credit for how quickly that has happened. What impressed me most about this album is that the Kings of Leon seemed to be going for lasting effects. In previous albums, they have simply been trying to put their voice out there and speak their piece about the world. Come Around Sundown was radically different in that it showed the world that they could be a serious band. Perhaps what changed the style of this album is that they did not record it in their native Tennessee, but rather in the Big Apple of New York City. They wanted to make this album bigger than all the rest, and it is my belief that they succeeded. As far as commercial success is concerned, the Kings of Leon have arrived, and they are not going anywhere any time soon. I literally waited for this album to come out on iTunes and purchased it right after midnight. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. This was not the band that I had begun listening to about 5 years ago. They had become grown men, and this was their "big boy" album. I stayed up to listen to the entire thing that night, and quickly believed that they at least deserved a Grammy nomination for their work. (Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when they didn't receive one.) Like all Kings of Leon records, I believe that the most underrated part of the band is the bass. I don't know how he does it, but Jared Followill always seems to impress me. I'm not a bass player, but maybe the running lines are what really get to me. My favorite songs from the album are "Radioactive", "Pyro", "Mary" and "Pony Up". "Radioactive" was the first single released off the album, and it really showed audiences that the Kings of Leon were back in business and ready to take over once more. "Pyro" is something that comes from this new experiment sound that they seem to be trying out. Whatever it is, I really like it. "Mary" is a song that sounds nothing like what fans are used to with the Kings of Leon, but it resonates because they haven't had too many name songs. Finally, "Pony Up" is your typical Kings of Leon, and I really like it. It's got one of those famed running bass lines and great vocals by Mr. Caleb Followill. In conclusion, if you're a true fan of the Kings of Leon, you'll like this album. You can criticize it all you want, but this band is here to stay. They have solidified themselves as a modern chart presence, especially with this album. If you're someone who is looking to get into the Kings of Leon, this isn't the place to start. I would go back and look at previous albums first in order to fully appreciate just what has taken place with these boys in such a short period of time.

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          21.02.2011 16:37
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          I would recommend it - it just isn't what you would expect!

          ==Introduction, first impressions== Come Around Sundown is the latest of five albums produced by Kings of Leon (released on the 18th of October). Within the first week it sold a record (for 2010) of 183,000 sales, but was that due to the mass success of the 2.5 million worldwide selling album produced previous - Only By The Night. Were fans expecting a repeat of the success and great sound so chose to snap up fast? Or is it truly a must buy? I did not know and as a fan of previous music, hooked because of their never dating sound tracks I had to purchase this to find out. ==The cover== The cover is rather tranquil, idealistic in many ways. The sun rays beaming through the soft palms enticed me into the purchase and made it stand out from the shelves, compared to the same old picture of the 'pop-star' pulling a rather expressionless face. I do however have a problem with the 'pretty' album cover; there is no apparent relation between the cover and the music, it's rather oxymoronic (in poetic terms) you have peaceful and relaxing with soft rock. "Hmm" It didn't seem right. I think that the album cover like the music is up to interpretation, visually pleasing but may hold some ethics or deeper morals behind the picturesque facade. ==Their big release single, Radioactive== As a fan of Kings of Leon I was rather unaware of its release until I saw the pre-order option on Itunes, I believe this is due to it having only one recognised Single: Radioactive, the single which is according to Itunes: "1980s college rock". Not what I was expecting as their iconic song for the time of their fifth album release. Possibly I was hoping for something similar to "Need somebody" or the massive anthem "Sex on fire" - something more than just, "college rock". 'Radioactive' when I first heard this song, radioactive shockwaves were not present, but over time it infected me and took over my body, one cannot refuse the rhythmic beats and though slow it is interesting enough to listen repeated time, shame the 'radioactiveness' wasn't contagious and resented from infecting the other more monotone tracks. The relatively 'twangy' guitar sound dominates most of the track (though this is not a complaint as this is typical of a song from the 'Kings' - arguably a key feature to their new approach on indie-rock) My overall impression of this song was that their foot had been taken of the hard metal pedal of massive record production and instead wanted their songs impactful to people's behaviour, sharing personal feelings in an ambiguous way, but the question I raise is, are all the hidden messages needed? Yes one needs passion but Kings of Leon are renowned for simplicity, and consequently the mass popularity received from people of all music interests. Though saying that, the song is typical of the era rather catchy and rhythmic and would make a great radio song or dance anthem, though slightly too slow. The accompanying video however is overall confusing and rather troubling; for those who want reference use sites such as NME to get professional views on the strange, disturbing video. As for my opinion it varies; I enjoy the video because one cannot seem to make sense of it, meaning it is clever and one can induce many different conclusion from it, on the other hand it can also seem rather random and maybe irrelevant (but that is up to interpretation). Comprehensive track list: 1. "The End" 2. "Radioactive" 3. "Pyro" 4. "Mary" 5. "The Face" 6. "The Immortals" 7. "Back Down South" 8. "Beach Side" 9. "No Money" 10. "Pony Up" 11. "Birthday" 12. "Mi Amigo" 13. "Pickup Truck" Each track has inner principals for example 'The End' is a representation of Caleb's (one of the bands members) sense of "dispossession" (Guardian reference) after being a popular target for burglars during his uprising to fame. According to the Guardian "Mary" includes the "barefaced rock guitar solo yet" which may interest many fans, possibly encouraging you to buy it however the section they are referring to isn't my favourite, in my opinion it is not a bragging right - it is a bit too brash for my liking. I am sure like many the songs will become popular and with that they will be played again and again and again, forcing one to like them. I just cannot seem to place this album in a category; it's not an album which is particularly easy to listen to (in some instances it is slightly heavy, as seen in "Mary" and "Back Down South"), on the other hand it is not a hard rock album which provides dance anthems of the century - what were the producers, RCA, thinking? A mystery to me! ==Lasting thoughts, disappointing as they are...== It is an album which does not do the artists any favours - in my opinion their attempt on an impactful, thought provoking, epic album have been stubbed from the go with the lack of media coverage around the release date. Though the album includes some traditional Kings of Leon excellence it is sadly lost under the rest of the monotony and confusion. It is however unquestionably Kings of Leon and their traits can be seen in every track. One cannot help the opinion that it is overall just a satisfactory album which may increase in popularity in time, but for me it doesn't hit the target of what I expected after their previous sensational creations. Overall it is an album I had wished they would follow their own advice and went back to "where you came from" because their previous albums were far more impactful, motivating and more enjoyable to listen to. For their next album they need to go back to their routes, and throttle out some anthems which will once again hold the test of time. My lasting impression not great - I am sticking with their previous works, and file this album as "The End" of that one... This review can also be found on my Ciao account (BazzaBoyT) - feel free to have a look :)

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            09.02.2011 19:17
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            An album im sure the majority of KOL fans will enjoy and be glad their back

            The 5th album from the now very popular King's of Leon. The band had many gem's of tunes from their first few lesser known albums and built up a very good and devoted following though they had not quite reached mainstream success. The band hailing from Nashville USA eventually reached more commercial success and wider recognition for the singles "use somebody" and "Sex on Fire" from their last album only by the night. Too the die hard's from the start this album signalled the band "selling out" and giving up their old ways where they'd blow away listeners with loud fast paced songs like "red morning light" and "Molly's Chamber" and exchanged these songs for one's that would appeal to more people. For this reason everyone was awaiting the new album announced to be released late 2010 early 2011 will they return to basics and the sound they started out with or continue on the road that gained them more success with more polished songs? ***Track List*** 1. The End 2. Radioactive 3. Pyro 4. Mary 5. The Face 6. The Immortals 7. Back down South 8. Beach Side 9. No Money 10. Pony Up 11. Birthday 12. Mi amigo 13. Pick up ***General*** When buying and listening through an album, listening to lyrics and looking at what is being said about it I can usually get a general feel about the mood of the album for example the new album Relapse by Eminem is clearly all about his journey and recovery from drug addiction and rehab and is an upbeat album looking at life and focusing on getting back to what he does best. This album emanates a sense of happiness and cheery mood from a band that at times have had their strops and down moments with songs like revelry and cold desert from past albums though brilliant songs giving off sombre tones. This album feels different. Upbeat tunes that will make you feel happy. Even the title of the album and the summery front cover indicate this is an album from a band that is now happy where they are at and writing positive songs to show so. The album once again has gained commercial success on a wider scale that im positive the die hards of yesteryear will once again grumble about but no one can begrudge a band that have tried so hard for years touring and playing to millions a bit of reward for all their efforts. I will get into which songs from the album have been released and so on as I look at each song that stands out but the band have announced a massive UK stadium tour for June (Including on my door step in Sunderland) and a few festival headline spots off the back of this record so things appear to be going very well indeed. Just also to note the album was released a day earlier in the UK than the US on the 18th of October 2010 and this indicates the bands fondness of the UK and the fans here who they have always maintained were the first fans to truly embrace them right at the beginning. ***The End*** The album quite ironically starts with "the end" and it would fool you into thinking the whole album is going to be downbeat because it is the slowest out of all the tracks on this album and personally would have began with something else. Though a rather slow song it is still a great listen and lead singer Caleeb reminds you of why he has one of rocks most unique and powerful voices. The song is all about reflecting on how things can end at any moment maybe a reference to the careers of themselves and the band. ***Radioactive*** This track begins to be more in keeping with the overall upbeat theme of the whole piece. It is difficult to tell exactly what the song is about though many derive it to be about the typical "doesn't matter what colour or creed you are were all human". The tune features the usual Kings riffs and excellent drum work coupled with the as always powerful voice of the lead singer. This track is the first one to be released as a single from the new album and is a good pick off an album that features a few potential singles. ***Pyro*** The second single to be released and personally a favourite of mine. It plays through at a nice steady pace for the listener and is apparently about an event in US where a group of Christians were killed by the police though that may just be rumour. For those who want to get a jist of how good easy listening and catchy this song is I suggest listening to their live performance on Jools Holland where the band blew away the audience with none other than Eric Clapton watching ***Back Down South*** Potentially the third single or at least if I had to choose it would be. It has the feel of a good old fashioned deep south of America tune that I could picture listening and singing along too while driving through the dusty roads of the US. Anyway back to reality I test anyone ho loves this band and listens to this album to not be singing along to this cheerful tune before long ***Best of Rest*** I understand that in all albums usually unless its an absolute great (which this probably is not) there are songs that have the feel of "time fillers" that were maybe added to fill the album and wont be seen making waves in the charts and this album does have a few of those that sound very similar without any really distinguishing feature. However "Mary" track 4 is a beautiful song apparently referring to marriage and has no shortage of trade mark deep screams from the lead singer and catchy lyrics. It stands out for me as another potential single to be released. No money track 9 has the feel of the old school kings of Leon back and this track is probably the only one that does so indicating that the band have more then likely continued in the commercial chasing direction. ***To Sum Up*** I have liked every album released by this band there's something about their consistency in releasing contagious songs that make you want to sing along or lyrics that appeal to me and its obvious im not alone judging by the fact the album got to number 1 world wide. I am certain that this album does not have the sound of the old style and for that reason once more questions will be raised by some if they have decided to sell out once again in pursuit of cash. If they have so what, they deserve it and the songs may have progressed from the Kings of old but who says change is a bad thing? Thanks for reading

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              07.12.2010 22:24
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              A good album but not their best

              I remember the hysteria surrounding The Kings of Leon album Only By The Night and how it was constantly played on the radio. That album shot the band to global fame and their songs such as Sex on Fire and Use Somebody were instantly recognisable. Everybody knew the words to the songs mentioned above. I am afraid this album, Come Around Sundown doesn't make anywhere near the same impact. It is much less memorable as the songs are less distinctive and catchy, however, in saying that this is not a poor album by any means. It just isn't as good as Only By The Night, in my opinion. Come Around Sundown does have its share of enjoyable songs, such as: Radioactive and Beach Side. However, on the whole it is a much more sombre album than Only By The Night. This in my opinion makes it less enjoyable to listen to as the songs are less distinctive and catchy, which was something that I personally really liked about the Only By The Night album. Songs such as those previously mentioned and songs such as: 17 and Revelry made the album a highly impressive and memorable album. It deserved all the recognition it got. However, to many people the less distinctive and perhaps more meaningful songs in the album Come Around Sundown may make the album have more meaning and feeling to it. As is often the case, it is a matter of personal opinion and taste. To sum up I would recommend this album, however in my personal opinion it is not as good as Only By The Night. It is still worth getting though, just don't expect it to be as good.

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              06.12.2010 16:30
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              Musica

              Apparently I'm one of the Kings 'Cooler' fans, although you may not be surprised, you would ask yourself why? It would appear I'm of the minority that's waved goodbye to the 'Sex on Fire' realm with little fondness and embraced the new, well the old, the old grungy, raw, awkward southern sounding stance of bluesy rock the band once produced. Kings of Leon have never been a band to stand still, each album demonstrating a different directive as real musicians should, rather than working off the formula that makes them lazy millionaires. Which proves a problem for Tennessee's favourite sons, the edgily placed pitchfork in their dusty Franklin soil, is ready to cascade from the sun beaten ground, but what will it pull up? Why does it prove a problem? Well it's no question that their 2008 release 'Only by the Night' brought the Followill boys from mere knaves of the music genre to pure Kings, thus bringing a mass mainstream following (the un-cool fans) with it. Giving the Kings a dilemma, to continue the mainstream blend, therefore driving away the 'REAL' fans and those they'd like to keep, or to appease the 'greater market' therefore keeping the fans they famously criticise, but bringing them much wealth. Whichever way Kings Of Leon's 2010 album 'Come around Sundown' proceeds it will ultimately divide the music world and critics alike. Admittedly, I like my musical taste to differ from the next, and largely, I've never really associated myself with the appeal the mainstream market offers. So when a band derives from obscurity to mass association it leaves a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why? The bang wagon effect, ask anyone in 2008 whom their favourite band was, KoL ..and yet ask them about 'Milk', 'Taper Girl Jean', 'Molly's Chamber' or 'The Bucket' and they would look at you crazily. So for me, this is much a personal step, as an important one for the brothers to take. Kings of Leon consist of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared and cousin Matthew. Forming in 1999 under the Tennessee sun, the band evolved around a unique southern sounding edgey, raw rock feel, mixed with a blues influence for good measure. The fabulous four have always been known by their middle names rather than first, created initially as just Nathan and Caleb, the duo rather than been enforced by the record company to associate, dragged in their younger relatives Matthew and Jared. Caleb who's raw vehement eager vocals are so definitive, and drummer Nathan are the bands working, authoritarian hand, adjoined with younger two members Matthew with his chugging guitar riffs and Jared on bass the quartet has a sound mixture of youth and seniority. Come around Sundown is the Kings fifth studio album, released October 18th 2010. Following on from world wide monster 'Only by the Night' it's an important step to continue the tempo its predecessor left. Success was only apparent after their third album 'Because of the Times' which reached the top of the charts in the UK, but not until 2008 release 'Only by the Night' did they finally breakthrough in the US, reaching the Mecca of the music boards. Come around Sundown, according to the Followill's is the most laid back, chilled album to date, Nathan referencing the album as 'Beach-y' would support this notion (another hit). Lead single 'Radioactive' upon its release proved to be a successful start of things to come for album number five, peaking thus far at number seven in the charts. Kings of Leon's most successful and well renowned singles to date include 'Sex on Fire, 'Use Somebody' and 'Revelry' check out the links ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnZmWE8JG3M&ob=av2n - The Bucket http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94RNp7veIJE&ob=av3e - Sex on Fire COME AROUND SUNDOWN - TRACKS - 1. THE END (4:24) - I think placing 'The End' at the beginning is a statement in itself, 'The End' is like the finale from the previous record, as the sound seeps through from 'Only by the Night', It has a satisfying, climactic, ending feel. 'The End' features the heaviest bass line on the album, dominating from the front, battling with Nathan's furious drum patterns. It's a fairly muffled sound, layered, edged with a rather eerie atmosphere that swirls around the chorus line with some jarring hanging riffs. Caleb's vocals throughout are soaked in emotion, raising his game and mixing it up superbly. Musically it gets better with traces of slide guitar and finishing with a rather glorious piano solo. Great opener, packed with emotional heartbreak, with a loyalty to drift into the space the drama has given us. 8/10 2. RADIOACTIVE (3:26) - I think lead single Radioactive has elements of old and new trusted into the mix, it's a little unclear exactly what the message it, so many connotations can be derived, but I'd imagine, its no matter what creed, colour, where you are from we are all build from the same place, and embrace that fact. Well that's my theory and I'm running with it, as I like it, makes you feel all warm. Jared's bass takes off quite distortedly, before Matthew crashes in with some rather swirling riffs over the top, as Nathan feverishly kicks in the drum line. A tight little start, packed with a cracking rhythm. Caleb's vocals are as strong and soothing as ever, almost growling about rising up and unitising. The bass is the dominant force throughout though, and leads over some angst driven drum lines, fizzing guitar riffs and a gospel choir towards the end, to accompany the lads and give a nice warm feel to the track. Musically I think this is tight, packed with a beautiful melody, it's a rock themed track, but it's light and airy, but yet still energized and attacking. The chorus is engaging, backed by some great harmonies which really works, sophisticated, but yet back to their truer roots. 7.5/10 3. PYRO (4.10) - Apparently this is about the radical Christians that got murdered by the police in the US. Gentle trickled jarring riffs get us going, before Nathan's drum kicks in venomously, overlapped with a similar jugging riff to the opener, but much more understated giving the tortured, heartfelt vocals more of a feature, educating the listener with it's intimate, quiet sound, developing a complexity of changeable emotions. Where as this isn't musically the finished particle, the soaked emotional coverage it extracts makes it truly glorious, it never rushes you, gives you time to feel your way through the song. Pyro is quite a beautiful, warm, moody, ponderous and honest story that you can just drift into on every listen, love it. 10/10 4. MARY (3.25) - Mary escapes down the time machine, for a stint of pop nostalgia, early 50's theme, mixed with a laid back country vibe. Mary, supposedly stands for Marriage, and you kind of feel that through the sweet lyrics, and the atmosphere the boys relay. Mary, although different, just does nothing for me, the chorus is a bright spark and fairly catchy, full of haa-haa-haa-haa's and aaaaaa's from the backing trio that sway and coo to Caleb's soul drenched, earnest lyrics, the instrumentals throughout again are inspired, but Matthew again steals Mary's heart with a scratchy little riff. Nicely mixed up but Mary's heart is to another. 6/10 5. THE FACE (3.28) - This emotional masterpiece is one of the stand out tracks of the album, such understated drama, it's moody, smooth and soul searchingly soothe. Only to be dipped and drenched in vulnerability by Caleb's yearning tones, mixed up pain, hurt and desire. It gets better still the bass line emerges into breathtaking fashion with such subtle lines of changeable attitude, only to be mastered still by shimmering patterns from Matthew's rippling guitar, which are quite stunning. This evocative piece really takes your breathe away, and I could listen to it all day, and just drift into. 10/10 6. THE IMMORTALS (3.28) - A dysfunctional episode in the Kings repertoire, with a tempo that cannot stand still, plenty of up-shifts that fall flat to the floor, lyrically tight with a booming chorus that really draws you in, with jangling, teetering rhythmic riffs, and heavy bass lines, educated further with fashionable, almost sumptuous percussion. The overriding feeling though is of mixed fortunes, the song feels incomplete, Caleb's tones are mixed up with more raw emotion, which dare I say becomes a little monotonous at times, but the highlight has to be the dazzling display from Matthew's guitar, which flails with jabbing, echoing spontaneity, but overall it lacks a togetherness, and it's hard to understand what the Kings are trying to achieve here. 5.5/10 7. BACK DOWN SOUTH (4.01) - Thumping country rock number, back to their roots here, the even tempo rocks to hand claps, feels all like a country/barn dance affair, laced with percussion, fiddles and slide guitars its happy enough, but does nothing for my taste buds. 5/10 8. BEACH SIDE (2.50) - Beach side was originally a B-side and I can see why, it's one of the simplest and most boring songs from the album. Blazed in sunshine, rolling along the coast in your open top car, to a brisk up-tempo beat, which sounds a little like the theme music to old computer game 'Out Run' The jumpy, happy little tempo stays throughout, dominated by Nathan's incessant drum line, lap still and Jared's staccato styled jazzed up riffs! Feels like late 70s torture, quite thoughtful, but lacks any cutting edge, to laid back for me, even Caleb's vocals are a little weak and mournful. Again, I like the different vibe it represents towards the album, but it just lacks any charisma. 5/10 9. NO MONEY (3.05) - Representing the fuzz-metal, rock aspect of the album, it's faster and fairly in your face with another large echoing bass line. Layered guitars playing against each other rather than with, Matthew's shimmering guitar overlooked by some dark power chords. The pace is a nice break from the laid back approach the album has, it's really chugging along nicely, but it lacks any spark to mix up the drive, the vocals are a shadow of Caleb's former self, which rarely compete for the front spot against the echoing distortion around his fingertips. Average, at best, having said that it could be a grower. 5.5/10 10. PONY UP (3.04) - Quick quirky little track, Nathan's layered drum lines and Jared's distort ridden bass are laced together and work willingly together. The drum line features heavily in this odd mix, and gives Nathan much freedom with a shaker tape on the drum stick, and a cow bell and tambourine to mix things up. Again the saviour is Matthew and his mission to dazzle with his display of artistry, nothing flashy or over extravagant, but his flailing spangled guitar work played against the other two rather than with them is pure genius. Caleb's vocals are loyal to the core and pretty quirky in keeping with the attitude the song holds. A different directive for the Kings here, but I cannot say I really enjoy it apart from Matthew dazzling display once more. 5.5/10 11. BIRTHDAY (3:15) - Totally different key once more, as a sprightly, chiming texture opens up Birthday, staccato under-whelmed riffs accompany a reluctant Caleb at first, until the tempo temporarily quickens to the delicate chiming from Matthews guitar, subtle notes from the bass interchange sporadically, playing against each other once more. It's a short little ditty, and fairly uninspiring I don't really like the key its played in, it's really southern sounding and slightly soulful, but it never really goes anywhere, until the final bridge where Matthew takes command once more with some poetic lines. 5.5/10 12. MI AMIGO (4.06) - Muffled, dirty little ballad, with a deep southern feel once more, enhanced by a thuggish booming bass line. It has a slight country mix in parts, to Caleb's, Rogers-esque jaunt, which has no appeal to me whatsoever and lingers around far too long in the western air, to a poor mid tempo pull. I like the ponderous bass line, otherwise this is just plain waste of four minutes. 4/10 13. PICKUP TRUCK (4:44) - I've mixed emotions about the finale, I think its something that will grown on me, it's an emotional truck ride, edgy and thought provoking with a changeable tempo, not quite clear what the message is, but it travels across sincere enough through Caleb's raw pain. Another track based around a deep sexy bass, and Nathan's constant measures of precision. Matthew blows up towards the end with more understated wizardry. 7.5/10 .............................. KING OF KINGS ............................... One can never label the Kings as merchants of expectance, however the revolutionary roll has its heavy toll to pay. Whichever sun soaked track they take, certain wheels will be jumping off the bandwagon. Older fans claim the band to be a Sell out to the mainstream audience, whereas the Kings have publicly stated their annoyance for this new generation of hollow fan. So which direction will they take? Back to their roots, appease the moneymaking genre, or change spec completely? Opening song 'The End' seems to but closure to album 'Only by the Night' which proves straight away the sound is about to change from it's apt title. Lead single Radioactive tends to support this theory although it does fuse together old and new sounds, maybe to appease all and sundry. However that's where the consistency ends, the quirky nature of the Kings humble beginnings are largely void, and the big riffs and mainstream excitement from the last two albums has also dissipated. What we find is an experimental twist of laid back bluesy-southern sounding blends or raw unused chemistry equations. Sundown, has an unusual balance, each and every track rides against the tide, the splendour of 'The End' and 'Pyro' combat against the inadequacy of odd tracks such as 'Mi Amigo' and 'Pony Up'. The album evolves, no track is similar, which you have to appreciate, however the lack of cohesion, does tend to grate somewhat, as where is the fluidity? The overriding feeling is somewhat like sitting back on your ranch, watching the sunset loom; it's airy, moody and evocative. Caleb's vocals at times are quite beautiful and tender, not as quirky as on Aha Shake Heartbreak, but his vocals are now more assured and refined. Where the album succeeds is the flamboyance in guitar movements and it's cohesion with the percussion. Chugging, shimmering guitars, and deep dirty bass lines that play usually against each other rather than together, which are pretty special, and the saving grace on most of the tracks. The best thing about the album and without question the star of the show is the wizardry in flailing guitarist Matthew's armoury. His ability to create inspiration just amaze, his consistency shines, and the ability to play against the music, or interplay with others just demonstrate what a truly wonderful guitarist he is becoming. The fact that the Kings often collide than reside together is what makes them unique, as you're never sure what to expect next. Lyrically, it's consistent to past measures, full of dark, mood-drenched hysteria. It's often laid back, versatile and quite odd in keeping with the Kings style, and what suits them best. Often you've no clue to what Caleb is aspiring to wail at, but it works, and works well. Although the album is a little disjointed and unbalanced it's got plenty of quality, whereas they risk losing many fans from moving forward, they will appease the mainstay with a slight resurgence to their old style. What's more is the return to a more raw, indifferent sound, gone is the over produced albums of yesteryear. Overall, it's a little hit and miss for me, I appreciate the consistency in exposing themselves to change, but some just don't work, whereas other parts shine in the blistering southern sun, the shimmering guitar work and dirty bass and quite beautiful at times, packed with lovely rhythms, and evocative landscapes you cannot fail to feel some inspiration, but with a few weak links in the mix, it would never achieve greatness in my book. Fans of the previous two albums may be disappointed by this effort, but true fans will appreciate the change of direction. Amazon priced at £8.93 or £11.93 for the deluxe version. 89p per download.

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                27.11.2010 10:32
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                The 5th Studio album from Tennessee's Kings of Leon

                Ever since their debut album back in 2003, Kings of Leon have been trying to break into the more mainstream market. It wasn't until the release of the 4th studio album Only By The Night that they would really start to make massive inroads. The reaction to that album saw the Kings of Leon propelled from relative obscurity into the main spotlight and over the last couple of years they have grown an already impressive fan base and started to play some of the biggest concerts of their lives and with the release of this, their 5th studio album, none of that seems to be slowing down any time soon. ==But Who Are They== The band are actually very much a family affair, hailing from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee they consist of three brothers and one of their cousins. The lead singer of the band is the middle brother of the three Anthony Caleb Followillor as he is perhaps better known simply Caleb. It is the distinctive tones and vocal talents of Caleb that the band are perhaps best known and most recognizable for. As well as turning his hand to the lead vocals Caleb is also the bands rhythm guitarist. As if all of that wasn't enough he is also the main songwriter within the band. The youngest of the three brothers is Bass player Jared Followill. Just like his brother he is multi talented and also turns his musical abilities to the piano and provides the backing vocals on a number of the bands tracks. Whilst his two younger brothers were learning guitars it was up to the older of the three brothers Ivan Nathan Followill to learn the drums. His drumming is amongst the best in the business at the moment and each album seems to see him raise his game ever so slightly. Completing the bands line up is their cousin Matthew Followill. He first picked up the guitar at the age of 10 and through a combination of lessons and hard work has seen himself become the lead guitarist for one of the biggest rock bands around at the moment. ==Defining a Style== Over the years the bands style of music has altered to meet the demands of the ever growing market. They originally started out with a combination of Southern rock and blues influences that whilst still obvious in their music today have certainly taken more of a back seat to the Alternative rock sounds that are prevalent within their music. The main reason for this real backbone is the influences on Caleb both growing up and now as he lists such diverse tastes as Pearl Jam to blues/folk singer Townes Van Zandt. This wide ranging influence gives his song writing a unique angle that not many bands around at present can rival. ==Come Around Sundown== Of course once the band had achieved their mega stardom with Only By The Night they weren't particularly happy with the sound that had got them there. As a result it seems that the concept behind Come Around Sundown would be a return to the earlier days in a bid to mix it a lot more with the bands progressing sound. I've been listening to the band since that first album back in 2002 and this is the first time in 5 albums that I've not really been sure about where they are as a band. The sound doesn't seem to have the same edge to it as the earlier albums, but it seems to have been a step back from Only By The Night. In doing this the band have a severe possibility of isolating their new fans and losing a lot of the fan base they have worked so hard to gain over the last 8 years. At times it seems that perhaps this was the bands idea all along, making an album for the fans who had stuck with them but for me it just doesn't really work. The intention is their but it is lyrically and musically lacking some of the spark that they were becoming known for. It is perhaps the first Kings Of Leon album that I've felt has taken a massive step backwards to a rather nothingness middle ground. Each of the albums before this one had seemed like the band were trying something new, offering the fans a slightly different sound that whilst not in keeping with the album before worked. This time round however I just get the feeling that they can't quite decide which market they want to be aiming for. In particular I found tracks such as Back Down South to be just another album filler. It didn't seem to have the passion and believe behind it that I've admired in the band's music for years. The guitars seem uninterested and even Caleb's vocals aren't convincing. In fact the band are actually talking about making this the albums second single, which personally I would view as a big mistake. That's not to say though that this album doesn't have its highlights as well. In fact when I first heard the album's first single Radioactive I had high hopes. It had a decent bass line combining well with the guitars to create a sound that had me hoping for another step along the road for the band. The problem with the album is the fact that there is decent material on it, it just seems to have been diluted with some rather mediocre songs that just don't fit into what I, as a fan of the band, had become used to on previous albums. In fact even the albums opening track The End is exactly what I was expecting from the band. It is a gritty blues inspired number that combines some excellent guitar riffs with a solid and strong drum beat that really works as the albums opener. In fact as an opening segment on the album the first 3 tracks rounded off by the superb Pyro really build up high hopes for the album but its then that things start to stutter and fail a little for me. Having set the tone for the album I really didn't think that Mary fitted that well. It isn't a track that shows off the bands musical abilities at their best and even Caleb's usually unshakeable vocals sound a little too stretched at times. This track is the start of a bit of a slump in the album and with the exception of The Face the album seems to stop and stutter until it reaches the excellent Beach Side. It has a slightly different feel to it and seems to portray the energy that the Kings Of Leon really made a living from. It's a slightly more upbeat sounding track but with an excellent combination of vocals and lead guitar it really highlights what the band were best at. This is the kind of track that pushes the boundaries as far as the band's sound is concerned and is perhaps what I would like to have heard more of on Come Around Sundown. From this point on the album really does start to improve massively with the more experimental side of the band coming to the fore. In fact in the run of tracks from Beach Side onwards the album more than makes up for the middle slump. With excellent guitar riffs on the superb Birthday to the clever lyrical content and vocal talents of Caleb on Pony Up the second half of the album tries to make up for the damage done on the earlier tracks. ==So Good Start, Average Middle, Great End?== That would perhaps be the best way to sum up the Kings of Leon's 5th studio album. It isn't that it's a bad album because it really isn't. The problem is that the band have set such a high standard previously that it detracts a little from the quality of certain tracks on Come Around Sundown. Had those tracks been on one of the earlier albums they might have worked but with the progression the band seem to achieve on an album by album basis they just feel a little middle of the road. Perhaps though it is the split between pleasing the older and newer fans and I perhaps feel that half of this album will appeal to each demographic. The start of the album sees a good mixture of the old and new style working well together and had the album continued in that vein then perhaps I'd be handing it a 5 star review. The problem for me is a run of 4 tracks where only 1 of the 4 sounds like the band really doing what they do best. From that point on the album is exactly what I would have expected and follows the tradition of the earlier albums by experimenting and mixing different styles and influences to make tracks that maybe shouldn't but do work. Despite the weaker middle section and what might seem a little bit of a harsh section to this review I have to say that I enjoyed the album. It would be fair to say that it has its weaker moments but like all Kings Of Leon albums I half expect that the more I listen to it the more I'll come to grow to love those too. Like it's predecessors it is an album that will grow on you as the band try to redefine musical boundaries and whilst they perhaps don't get it spot on this time they are still one of the best around. Amazon: £8.93 Amazon download: £7.49 I Tunes: £7.99

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                  21.11.2010 14:18
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                  A very good album.

                  Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown - Due to Kings Of Leon being one of my favourite bands at present, this review of their newly released album may appear to be biased in an optomistic way instead of mainly critisising the downsides of the it. Rated 2 out of 5 stars by The Guardian and 5/10 by NME, the album seems to be a lesser sucess of the band's previous album 'Only By The Night', which included such chart topping tracks (Sex On Fire & Use Somebody) which were almost set in stone in amoungst the UK's top 40 chart for a matter of months. However, like I have stated previously, this review would involve a more positive attitude, so I must disagree with the ratings given by The Guardian, NME and other critics amoungst these. The lead single from the album is 'Radioactive' which I was rather impressed with when the track was released. Myself, amoungst the rest of the Kings Of Leon addicted fans didn't except the album to top previous 'Only By The Night' wonders, and to be honest, 'Radioactive' wasn't as strong a track as those, although it was something more than I expected. In terms of lyrics however, I don't agree that this is the best song on the album for lyrics, although it does contain a very memorable guitar solo at the beginning, performed by Caleb Followil, cousin of Matthew, and brother to Nathan and Jared Followil, who make up the band. In the track 'Beach Side', which differs completely to the other tracks on the album, uses the guitar in a way that Kings Of Leon have never used it before, and make a very distinct and differential sound, new to the ears of us Kings Of Leon fans. Other songs which are rather impressive are ones such as 'Back Down South', 'No Money' and 'Pyro', which was performed on 'Later with Jools Holland'. They are all different tracks, but memorable ones. 'Back Down South' to me, feels like it has a hint of country added to it, whereas 'No Money' goes back to the original rock genre sound that the band are known for. 'Pyro' however, is inbetween the two. It doesn't sound countrylike, but in 'Back Down South' the instrumental background is less heavy than 'No Money', and 'Pyro' fits bang in to the middle. It's more of a mellow song. These tracks are the ones that stand out the most and fair well against songs such as 'Sex On Fire' and 'Use Somebody'. Other tracks on the album consist of 'The End', 'The Face', 'The Immortals', 'Mi Amigo', 'Pony Up' , 'Pickup Truck', 'Mary', and 'Birthday'. Overall, I think that in comparison to 'Only By The Night', 'Come Around Sundown' does put up a good fight against it. There are several strongs tracks on the album, some that could be potential top ten singles, and some that may be forgotten about in given time. Like I said at the beginning of this review, this would be a more biased for one, which is why I am going to award the album 7/10. Kings Of Leon are my favourite band, hence the higher rating than NME, although I expected too much after their previous success, and I didn't quite get it, but it was close. Caleb Followil's fantastic vocals and the group's guitar playing really brings my rating up. Such tracks as 'Pickup Truck', and 'The Face' bring me to a halt at 7/10, due to them representing the weaker sides of the album. Of course every album has weaker tracks, but Kings Of Leon are one of the most popular bands of the time, so wonderful things were expected. You can find the album in places such as Asda, Tesco, perhaps Morrisons, and of course music shops such as HMV. On-line you can order your copy of the the album from places such as amazon or play.com, which is free delivery. I downloaded my copy from itunes which is also another way to purchase the album. I do recomend it, but maybe you would prefer to listen to a few tracks on itunes before downloading the album as a whole. Thank you for reading. (c) Jordan2493

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                    19.11.2010 13:48
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                    A Solid Album Lacking Innovation

                    Woooooah There's No Sex On Fire ======================== The Folllowill boys have had quite a couple of years, the last album and especially the single Sex On Fire have shot them into the mainstream and no doubt made them a lot of money. However, lately they have made some comments that could alienate fans, especially new ones. It's an age old problem, bands become popular and then become un-cool in many people eyes. I am not a fan who joined them on the last album, I discovered them around the time of third album, because of the times, and then went on the love their previous and much grittier work. However, they should show more respect to their new fans, something I think they have realised now. So, we come to the fifth studio album, this is almost as tricky as the usual second album, coming after such a hit as Only by the night. How do you follow something so successful? Go back to your roots or more of the same or even better, something unique. The answer seems to be a bit of all past albums put together, but somehow watered down. There are no Molly's Chambers or Four Kicks here, and no sex on fire really, unless you count lead single Radioactive. It almost feels like a CD you'll put on in the background, while you're doing other things, something that definitely couldn't be said about their first three albums. The problem for me with this album is the lack of innovation, whether you liked their previous progression or not each album has had a different style, but there it seems a bit by the numbers. A number of the tracks are too generic. Some of the tracks have a definite country feel, not something I'm really keen on, but at least it's an attempt at something new. The album is also a little short at only just over 47 minutes, I know quality is better than quantity, but I'd have waited longer for them to write a couple more tracks, I do feel a little short changed because of it. Caleb's almost indecipherable and growly vocals and Nathan's less than regular drumming seem to be missing here. Nathan especially seems to have fallen into bog standard drummer mode, in the past his drumming was always unique and interesting, less so here. Another sign the're running short of ideas. It's not all doom and gloom though, there are some gems on offer, I love the first track, slighty cornily titled The End, it's in a similar vein to Closer from the last album. Radioactive is punchy and addictive and has some nice guitar work from Cousin Matthew. No Money is a homage to some of their earlier and rockier glories and deserves having the volume turned up for. Summing up, Come around sundown is a solid album that fails to deliver a knockout punch and will possibly lose them some of their newer fans, older fans may be disappointed but I'm sure there is more and better to come from these boys. Recommended.

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                      13.11.2010 22:39
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                      The Kings of Leon's Latest Work

                      Right Royal Rock Royalty - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Released on the 18th of October, 'Come Around Sundown' is the fifth album by Tennessee-based rockers Kings of Leon. The Kings of Leon are a real family band - consisting of three Followill brothers (Anthony, Ivan, and Michael) and their cousin Cameron. Confusingly enough, the band prefer to be referred to by their middle names - meaning that a Kings of Leon team-sheet would read as 'Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and Matthew'. I first became aware of the Kings of Leon when I heard the song 'Red Morning Light' on the FIFA 2004 soundtrack from the 'Youth and Young Manhood' album. At this time, it seemed like the band were as famous for their excessive facial hair as they were for their songs. The band's real breakthrough occurred with the release of 2008's 'Only by the Night' album, which contained the popular 'Sex on Fire', and 'Be Somebody' tracks. Coincidently the upsurge in popularity directly correlates to the boys having a shave - obviously there's a link between the amount of hair on one's face and the ability to write music which is popular to the masses. Joking aside, it was reported that lead singer Caleb was somewhat dismayed by the fact that the Kings of Leon have become 'overly commercial', especially when he noted that the two songs which propelled the group to stardom were actually written "as a joke". So what were the band trying to achieve with their latest album - more of the anthemic tunes which have made them in to one of the world's biggest musical groups, or a collection of songs which only the 'real fans' will appreciate? THE TRACKS - thirteen songs of variable quality - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Opening with a straightforward rock beat which comprises a pounding bass drum, first track 'The End' instantly feels familiar - probably because the verse has a similar vocal arrangement to the aforementioned 'Sex on Fire'. A creative and reverb-laden guitar riff (something of a trademark for the band) cuts through the minimal opening to provide an aurally intriguing high-end sound. Caleb Followill's distinctive vocals combine perfectly with the deep and rhythmic bass to form a memorable song, and ultimately a decent start to the album - "I wanna be the one who gives them my world, and gives them all the feeling of it, Just a little taste of it...". As the album's designated single release, 'Radioactive' features a fragmented staccato guitar sound which punctuates the soundscape. The track's fate as an anthem is sealed by the inclusion of a sing-along chorus which makes the song into a memorable listening experience - certainly one of the standout hits from the album - "It's in the water... It's in the story, It's where you came from". The intriguingly titled 'Pyro' has a more thoughtful feel about it than the two songs which have come before it - here, the beautiful vocal harmonisation during the chorus reminds me of the work of Blue Oyster Cult. Interestingly enough, I wasn't too keen on Pyro at first, but its delicate vocal blend means that it is a song which is a definite 'grower' - "All the black inside me, Is slowly seeping from the bone, Everything I cherish is slowly dying, or it's gone". 'Mary' slows things down somewhat, yet manages to maintain a heavy feel with layered and heavily distorted guitar - the track provides some variation to the album, which until this point has been fairly similar in tone. Culminating in a cool 50's sounding rock' n roll guitar riff, Mary works especially well as a break from the Kings of Leon's regular sound - "Mary, if you want to, I wave my right, I'll be on the corner, Just passin' time". Beginning with a passage of thoughtfully plucked electric guitar, 'The Face' is basically a song about the Followill's relationship with their home state, and the end result feels heartfelt if not a little predictable. The song is a rock-ballad of the sort that U2 may well have penned - not especially my cup of tea, but certainly easy on the ears - "If you give up New York, I'll give you Tennessee, the only place to be". Sixth track 'The Immortals' is based around a looping guitar riff that provides the song with a solid backing. Personally, I don't find the song especially appealing - it could have been plucked straight from any of the band's previous albums and isn't that memorable - "The open road, the path of greatness, It's at your fingers, Go be the one that keeps on fighting, Go be the stranger". 'Back Down South' takes the Kings of Leon home to their southern roots with a country infused number - to be honest, the entire album seems to have this southern vibe, although it's more apparent in some tracks than others. Like the previous song, Back Down South is a track that would comfortably feel at home on the band's first album. At the end of the day it's by a carefully crafted piece of song writing which is infused with delicate percussion and creatively employed slide-guitar - "Underneath the stars, where we parked our cars, ain't showing signs of stopping, pretty little girls, naked to their curves, ready to lay in a coffin". Mellow and summery 'Beach Side' is a fairly light-hearted number - in fact, it's probably the most laid back song on the album with a 'poppy' and mainstream sound - "Got an attitude, Thinking that he's always right, Blowin' smoke rings, Making me wanna fight". Ninth track 'No Money' opens with an echoey 'Edge'-like jangly guitar riff, before a typically fast-paced and deep bass is layered underneath. The distorted bass leading into the chorus provides a punky appeal, whilst the unusual lyrics set the tone nicely - "Can't you see me walking alone? I've been down to the horns and back, and I'm way too tired of blowing out candles". With a percussive back-bone which could have been plucked straight out of late 80s / early 90s Manchester, 'Pony Up' is probably the closest that the Kings of Leon will ever be in sound to The Stone Roses - even though it's based in an entirely different genre of music, Pony Up, and the Roses' classic 'Fools Gold' have a lot in common! - "I got a razor sharp momma wants to cut you down, A little place in mind baby I could bed you down". 'Birthday' lifts the mood of the album in an enjoyable and light-hearted manner, and like 'No Money' before it, there's the inclusion of the stadium-friendly echo-laden guitar riff - in the context of the song, it works very well. Here, Caleb's vocals are particularly good, soaring without ever being overstretched throughout the memorable chorus - "We're gonna come together, we're gonna celebrate, we're gonna gather around like it's your birthday". 70's sounding penultimate track 'Mi Amigo' provides the album with another country influenced number. The song reminds me of the work of The Eagles from their Hotel California era, although here a chorus of harmonised saxophone takes the track into Roxy Music territory - certainly an entertaining song which is easy to enjoy - "She pick me out the pieces, Of a place I call home, To sing a song, Till I'm gone, gone, gone". Final Track 'Pickup Truck' works as a fitting close to the album - it's a purposefully building and well written number which actually feels heartfelt - "And in the moonlight I throwed him down, a kicking, screaming and rolling around". FINAL WORD - continuing the success, or a step backward for the band? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - It seems that the Kings of Leon have made a concerted effort to return to their roots with Come Around Sundown, producing a sound which lingers somewhere between the radio-friendly Only By the Night and their earlier work - but how has this neither-here-nor-there approach affected the album as a whole? To be honest, although there aren't as many sure-fire crowd pleasers here, the quality of songwriting remains high and a number of the songs feel heartfelt. No, the album probably won't win the Kings of Leon an army of new fans, but nor will it do them any harm in the long run. This is verified by the ratings that I have seen so far for the work in the media - it seems to be a 'love it or hate it' Marmite-esque album which alienates as many as it pleases. At this stage It should be pointed out that the album does take a little bit of getting used to - I use the phrase a lot, but many of the songs really are 'growers' , the quality of which can only really be appreciated on the third or fourth listen. Personally I found Come Around Sundown to be a collection of well written and pleasing songs, the majority of which will be a mainstay on my iPod. Recommended as a musically impressive and entertaining effort - well worth a listen. FULL TRACK LISTING - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1. The End - 4:24 2. Radioactive (lead single) - 3:26 3. Pyro - 4:10 4. Mary - 3:25 5. The Face - 3:28 6. The Immortals - 3:28 7. Back Down South - 4:01 8. Beach Side - 2:50 9. No Money - 3:05 10. Pony Up - 3:04 11. Birthday - 3:15 12. Mi Amigo - 4:06 13. Pickup Truck - 4:44 ADDITIONAL INFO - Price and Availability - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Kings of Leon's Come Around Sundown can currently be purchased in CD form for £8.93 from amazon.co.uk, or £7.99 from the iTunes store as a digital download. Individual tracks from the album can also be downloaded from iTunes at a cost of 79p each.

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                        18.10.2010 22:54
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                        A poor outing and a average album which doesnt build on success

                        Come around sundown is Kings of Leon's (KoL) 5th studio album , but their 2nd real mainstream release after 2008's well recieved Only by the night. The Nashville rock band made up of 3 brothers and their cousin really hit the popular music charts with songs such as "Sex on fire" and "Use somebody". Their success since then has been pretty good winning handfuls of awards such as album of the year at the Brit awards, as well as winning best rock performance at the grammys two years running for the aforementioned hits. Released on October 18th , Come around sundown puts Radioactive as its lead single but can it hit the highs of Only by the night or will it be a case of the difficult second album ? The opening track is ironically "The end". Using a slow building bass guitar and drums it sets the tone for the album and picks up right where the previous album left off. Influence in this song from use somebody and sex on fire is very clear to see and im sure that some peices are recycled. The vocals feel as though they could be bigger as they never provide a powerful enough feeling that the song needs. A rather sombre start to the album and pretty average for KoL. Radioactive is the albums headline track and kicks off with a more upbeat guitar than the previous song, a good chorus is the focus but the vocals are unclear over the tones of the drum and electric guitar, the electric guitar also has a similar rhythm to the opening riff of Jack Johnson's "you and your heart". The song just generally feels a little lacklustre and not what I would place as a headline track. Pyro's head bobbing guitar melody is pleasing to the ears but there is still clouded vocals which takes away from the nice lyrics. It is their style though as I realised in Only by the night but it seems heightened in this album and there are some nice lyrics " Everything I cherish is either dieing or it's gone, once the show gets started it's sure to be a sight to see". There is a bit more passion in this song than others and is again a average track. Mary is what passes as a big rock track for KoL, it really feels as though it's one for the live sets. There is some quite good guitar work and the melody helps ease the load on the frontman whose vocals tend to jump around. I can see this being a strong favorite with fans of the gigs as it can get atmosphere going , but that live feel doesn't come across on CD and so doesn't build up as much. The face is a classic sounding KoL track, empty space in the background that helped use somebody get a distinctive sound means all the focus is shifted to the vocals and they do standout in this track. Sombre guitar has a synthesising addition in the last minute and this doesn't fit the feeling of the song and kind of ruins whats been made. A pretty good track though. The immortals has clear vocals and drums which work well this track, but big notes don't hit when you expect them too. The chorus doesn't finish the verse like you expect it too and means there is a real let down everytime you hit the end of the verse. Back down south is a atmospheric outing and has a real sense of adventure as it encapsulates the feeling of a summer in america's deep south. The banjo tinge on the electric guitar means it's another one for the bands live sets. "When we see the lights, when we see the fights, it will be a stunner". Beach side has a good beat set by the bass guitar and is mixed in with helpings of quick guitar riffs. Vocals are difficult to hear as the band clearly decided to record when the lead singer has a sore throat so every lyric has a whispy finish, generally you will be lucky to catch the middle section of the verse. No money is really quick paced, vocals are poor and don't impose themselves lver the guitar and drums. I would have to put this down as the worst song of the album, a bit of swearing is also used and this is probabley down to the frustration of the album not reaching its potential, and the band knowing it. Pony up is on par with No money, neither vocals or guitar are too strong this song. Not even a synthesised guitar riff saves the forgetability of the song. Birthday, at this point I think the album is feeling sorry for itself and once again the guitar is outplaying and a higher volume than the vocals. This may as well have been a instrumental song because the singing is not adding anything to the song. Mi Amigo is a completely different track to the rest of the album, it's nicely paced an the guitars and vocals work so well together. The whispy vocals actually make a good impact on the track and its a rare song that builds in this album. It's a nice relaxed tune and is my favorite song of the album. A slight folk feel means you could compare it with a tame "Sweet home alabama" by kid rock. Pick up truck rounds off the album with some passionate vocals but the whispering appears for umpteenth time making it hard to just relax and enjoy it. generic guitar melodys and general lacking of substance means the album ends with a whisper and not a shout. So it was clear that KoL didn't like the fame and fans that they had gained, in fact they were quite rude to the people that only recently discovered their music. Well this album will show who the real fans are because it is not a good album and are returning to their indie roots simply by losing popularity. To sum up the singing it is as though the band is playing in the bedroom and scared of waking the parents next door, some good guitar sections and melody makes me think that this would be a good instrumental album. This could well be the setting of the sun on the Kings of Leon. Available on Amazon for £9.

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                        13.10.2010 21:03
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                        A patchy but - frustratingly - occasionally brilliant record

                        Come Around Sundown is a transition record for Tennessee rockers Kings of Leon. After ascending to superstardom from years of relative obscurity with 2008's Only By The Night, Kings of Leon were suddenly getting play from not just a handful of young indie fans, but their more conventional friends, their parents and quite possibly their grandparents as well. Kings of Leon were no longer the hip underground band; they were the family band being played by families across the globe. The brothers (and cousin) Followill - vocalist Caleb, guitarist Matthew, bassist Jared and drummer Nathan - were uncomfortable with their new-found fame, to say the least. The hot-headed Caleb especially didn't take to it, dismissing 'Sex On Fire', the song that made them megastars, as "a piece of s**t", labelling their new fans "uncool" and shouting "f*** you" to a bored Reading festival audience in 2009. Understandably then, the Kings of Come Around Sundown often sound lost and divided, torn between their raw old selves and their new clean and serious rocker mindsets. Most of the first half of this album even sounds like it may have been built just to keep the Kings' new legion of mainstream fans listening. Opener 'The End' has a huge resemblance to Only By The Night's live favourite 'Closer', 'Radioactive' is another easily accessible introduction to deep South listening a la 'Sex On Fire' (albeit this album's first single aspires to be more spiritual than sexual) while 'The Immortals' has Caleb singing like he's doing 'Use Somebody' karaoke. The opening few tracks are played through with such uncertainty that it seems difficult for this, the Kings' fifth album, to recover. But recover it does - just - and, despite some safe repetition, Come Around Sundown happily even manages to be musically more adventurous than its predecessor. The band's newly-accumulated popular music fans won't know what to think of unconventional tracks like 'Pony Up', 'No Money' and 'Mi Amigo', which, coincidentally, are all on the album's superior, more experimental second half. This section bares a resemblance to the sound of the latter-day Kings and it's here where the band sound more at ease than in the less confident first half. Sundown's tunes are also of a sorely-missed fun and playful nature; I don't think Kings of Leon have had one of those since 'My Party' on Because Of The Times. 'Radioactive', 'Mary' and in particular 'Pony Up' may bring a smile to your face and even give you a feeling that was absent from the gloomy Only By The Night: joy. The overall sunnier sound of Come Around Sundown is in line with drummer Nathan Followill's assertion that the record would sound more "beachy". On tracks such as 'The Face' and the marvellous 'Beach Side' the guitars are exotic and spacey, resulting in yet another new musical approach from the band. Say what you like about them, but Kings of Leon at least enjoy giving a new musical direction a go. On Come Around Sundown, this new direction works. In fact, musically, the entire album approaches greatness often. If there is a major problem, it's with lead singer Caleb. Having taken a Strepsil or two and soothed his once incoherent voice, the singer has lost much of his edge in the process. Sure, his voice is technically brilliant, as opposed to the 'bad' drunken hillbilly croon of Youth And Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak. But in abandoning his quintessential uniqueness (and what was once the defining characteristic of the band) and adopting a more typical delivery, the middle Followill brother approaches everyday pop mundaneity. On Only By The Night, it fitted with the overall cleaner-sounding aesthetic of the album, but on Come Around Sundown, the three other Kings, in particular bassist Jared and lead guitarist Matthew, have grungier, back-to-basic aspirations. At a happy medium between Caleb's two singing styles, Because Of The Times' soulful but still scratchy and damaged vocalist would have suited this material where Only By The Night's evangelical preacher often doesn't. Still, there are tracks on this admittedly patchy album of such beauty and power that you can forgive some of the misguided vocalisation. 'Back Down South' would be something of a 'Fans' (Because Of The Times' standout track) clone but sounds inherently different thanks to a country vibe courtesy of a stripped-down attitude featuring a fiddle and some slide guitar. This heartfelt, earnest track will be one that people will sing along to at festivals louder than any other on Come Around Sundown. The unfeasibly uplifting and undeniably strange 'Pony Up' is another highlight thanks to some joyous guitar playing. Similarly so with 'Mary', which features a glorious doo-wop guitar strike heralding in a wall-of-sound barrage of grungey guitars and some fascinatingly stirring backing vocals. Closing track 'Pickup Truck' is a grower that follows in the tradition of every Kings of Leon album thus far, namely laying Caleb Followill's soul bare via honest lyrics and a plaintive, leisurely musical arrangement. Lyrically, however, Sundown is business as usual. Not a terrible thing, though Caleb's self-pitying is becoming predictable - on 'No Money' he moans "I'm a waste of time/All in all a waste of a living" - as is his bitterness, evident in 'Beach Side's "He got an attitude/Thinking that he's always right". There is some deliciously dark imagery ("A single book of matches/Gonna burn what's standing in my way" Caleb cries on 'Pyro') and a sexual undertone not heard since Aha Shake Heartbreak's 'Soft' ('Birthday' tells of the "come-on legs and pantyhose" of a girl looking "so precious with your bloody nose") but there's ultimately not much here that touches upon Kings of Leon at their risqué best. An unsure mix of quality and style, Come Around Sundown is an album that often sounds like Kings of Leon attempting to remake Only By The Night by injecting it with elements from their rougher, tougher, better-humoured past. It's a sometimes frustrating listen, mostly due to their obvious inability/fear (we'll see on subsequent records which one it is) of letting go of their newly family-friendly and production-heavy sound. Sundown is, at the same time, also enormously promising; while there are tracks here that embrace the Kings' mass appeal, there are also those that oppose it strongly. The second half of Sundown features some frankly unusual music that the 'Use Somebody' fans certainly won't take to. Examples of these contain, ironically, the best work on the album. It's because of these two clashing ideals that Kings of Leon's fifth record is so disjointed. It's their most contradictory album, probably their weakest, and I don't doubt that Come Around Sundown will lose Kings of Leon some of their recently acquired listeners while also alienating yet more of their original indie fandom. The question is: are they willing to risk losing even more and produce a follow-up record that suits them better than it suits their record label?

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                      • Product Details

                        Disc #1 Tracklisting
                        1 The End
                        2 Radioactive
                        3 Pyro
                        4 Mary
                        5 The Face
                        6 The Immortals
                        7 Back Down South
                        8 Beach Side
                        9 No Money
                        10 Pony Up
                        11 Birthday
                        12 Mi Amigo
                        13 Pickup Truck