Kings of Leon
have spent the last seven years or so trying to reconnect with the original sound and fan base that they had leading up the Grammy-Awarded Only By The Night
in 2008. They were once full of shout-along choruses and arena-sized rock but shortly after Only By The Night
, Kings of Leons albums have had their moments but didn't quite get us there. But today, we remain hopeful because the Followills (brothers Caleb, Jared, Nathan and their cousin, Will) have released their seventh studio album, WALLS
and do we smell a comeback brewin'?
(which is an acronym for We Are Like Love Songs) returns to the Kings of Leon sound that we originally fell in love with and there's just enough experimentation to keep us on our toes. The album opens up with "Waste a Moment," which was the first single KoL released and it's complete with sharp guitar riffs and some easy-to-shout-to catchy hooks. "Reverend" brings us the nostalgia of Kings of Leon's older work with the scruffy rock sound paired with Caleb's husky vocals. "Muchacho" takes us down a little bluesy rock road with a rhapsodic western guitar twang while "Wild," "Eyes On You" and "Around The World" are bubbly pop-rock numbers with just the right amount of grunge.
"Over" is a pleading track where Caleb displays some David Bowie-esque vocals in the beginning of the song. The title track is rare for Kings of Leon - a vulnerable, melodic song with somber lyrics. It's a change of pace from the rest of the album and feels like a good way to close the record. The cover artwork is a photo of the four Followill's heads submerged in murky white liquid (created by an artist who made tiny clay figurines of the Kings of Leon members) and it's likely a representation of the rebirth of the band.
Is this a life-changing album that will resurrect Kings of Leon and bring them back to their glory days? Probably not. WALLS
digs into Kings of Leons root sound and adds a few curveballs to show how they've evolved. It also reminds us that lyricism has never been their strong suit. But WALLS
is fun, nostalgic and absolutely the best album Kings of Leon has released in a very long time.