the c & b diaspora

Kings Of Leon, Only By The Night

Posted on: September 26, 2008

This album may as well have been released as a double, with the second part called ‘If Not by the Day’. Its probably the most awkward or perhaps irritating album title I have encountered so far this year. The cover imagery suggests with its owl motif that this will be a dark, brooding, if not mysterious album. It’s not. This album just represents the next logical step for Kings of Leon following their 2007 release, Because Of The Times.

I’ve tried to reserve my judgement on this album but seeing it indirectly compared to TV on the Radio’s latest release, Dear Science on Chris Schulz’s Stuff.co.nz blog was enough to send me over the edge.

It’s not only their greatest album to date, it’s one of the best albums you’ll hear this year. Isn’t it ironic that what will be their softest album will also be the one that turns them into stadium-slaying monsters?

This man already received a large internet bashing from illiterate Metallica fans for giving their latest album Death Magnetic a bad score, so I will not personally attack him, but I disagree with his opinion on Kings of Leon’s latest release. However, the Metallica album deserved that score. I can say that safely, without even listening to it. Why? Because everything Metallica released after …And Justice for All is shitty. Controversial? Maybe. Truthful? Probably.

Initially I was a little captured by the appeal of a few songs on Only by the Night. Its easy to understand why ‘Sex on Fire’ made its way to the top of various singles charts around the world, but one successful single does not make a good album. There are other ‘radio ready’ (I HATE this term) tracks on the album, and they are probably appealing to the right person (a Nickelback fan), but ultimately its just a hollow album. Just another rock radio album where you buy it for the singles and skip over half the tracks because they suck.

The watering down of Kings of Leon was unsuprising really, Aha Shake Heartbreak was one of those albums that sends a band right to the edge of mainstream success, but because of one reason or another, doesnt quite break the barrier between poorly kept secret and “stadium slaying monsters” (I’m still a little pertubed as to why they felt they could charge $100 for a ticket to their Vector Arena show a while ago). Good tracks from Heartbreak, like ‘The Bucket’, and ‘King of the Rodeo’ were fine examples of their southern rock/country roots, and could appeal to people like my Step-brother and company. (Boy, did I get sick of Kings of Leon that summer.)

I admit, as a bearded man that I was a little disappointed to see what was initially four untidy looking brothers/cousins go clean shaven and fashion conscious upon the release of Because of the Times. The first time I heard it, I was driving back from the incredibly awesome Eagles of Death Metal (HEART ON 10/08) show with my partner-in-crime/elitism Peter Kirk. I was initially weirded out by the change in sound, especially by the pedo-squeals on ‘Charmer’. But eventually the album grew on me, particularly the teen pregnancy opener, ‘Knocked Up’. There’s just something about the meandering bassline and drums that just gets me every time. I dont think that their latest album will have this effect on me.

I’m so amazing. I can manage to write all of this without actually discussing the album itself. It will probably be hailed by rock radio DJs for the rest of the year as the second coming of U2 or something, but for me, its just another mainstream culture assimilation of what was once a reasonably rockin’ southern rock band.

And the world does not need another U2, one Bono is enough. My all time hated things list goes something like this:

1. Bono

2. Bono’s sunglasses

3. Bono’s hat

4. ipod commercials starring Bono

5. U2’s latest album

Stay tuned for more Stuff.co.nz Hitlist mimicry and fan-fucking-tastic social commentary.

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1 Response to "Kings Of Leon, Only By The Night"

I’ve finely got around to reading all you’re blogs and I’m sorry I didn’t do it earlier. lol i got to say Chris i kinda miss u…….
that wasn’t gay at all…
any way good writing keep it up.

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