Kings of Leon cd review

Nashville’s fêted group's fifth album remains a mystery

Come Around Sundown

Just when Nashville’s fêted sons had the time to write and record their fifth album remains a mystery. Their work ethic is more akin to the Stones in the ’60s than modern rock’s 35-hour week.

The Followill family have always had their eyes on the arena prize, and with hits like ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’ accompanying sports montages round the globe, their anthems have been embraced by a legion of unlikely new fans. It’s a kind of acclaim that sits more uneasily with the boys than they anticipated, but it’s done little to dampen their taste for the epic, as opener ‘The End’ testifies – all brooding bass and reverbed guitar shimmers with Caleb waxing fatalistic.

Elsewhere ‘The Immortals’ sees the 28-year-old singer exploring the ceaseless cycle of his touring life, while album closer ‘Pickup Truck’ is a slow-building blinder, full of remorse and brawling passion, and therein lies their strength. The Kings’ songs are deftly composed, full of triumphant highs and ragged, vulnerable lows. On this form, it looks like they’ll be holding on to their crowns for a long while yet.

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