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Kings Of Leon are at the peak of their musical ability. | Photo: Press
Kings Of Leon are at the peak of their musical ability. | Photo: Press
Martin Hošna -

Kings of Leon's Rock'n'roll Still Entertains

Nashville natives Kings Of Leon's ninth album, laconically titled Can We Please Have Fun, is true to its name. It offers a decent portion of rock fun, which the Followill brothers wrap in dreamy post-punk with elements of the harmonic sound of the eighties.

The quartet have come a long way since their debut Youth & Young Manhood (2003), yet the garage dirt that defined Kings Of Leon's style in the beginning still lingers in the colourful tracks that navigate the 50s, 60s and 80s poetics. However, the latter is disrupted by the rough guitar riffs, which are counterbalanced by frontman Caleb's intense raspy voice.

A return to their energetic beginnings is most noticeable on the single "Mustang", one of the best songs Kings Of Leon have written since their breakthrough album Because Of The Times (2007). The restrained instrumental aggression builds just the right amount of tension that refuses to be released. The dirty guitar interplay with the bubbling bass is finally dynamically overridden by Caleb's howling and question in the chorus: "Are you a Mustang or a kitty? What are you all about?"

The almost pop production stars on the tango-like "Actual Daydream", while the gloomy "Split Screen" lulls us melancholically in a similar way to "Don't Stop the Bleeding", a '50s radio ballad with indie elements. Kings of Leon return to raspy rock on intense "Nothing To Do" and they are sure to enjoy their stadium-band status live on "Hesitation Generation", a song that combines grandiose pomp with a big-mouthed chorus.

What can you appreciate about the recording as a musician?

Kings Of Leon are already veterans in their field, yet they paint very colourful compositions and flirt with indie rock themes ("Rainbow Ball"). The puzzling lyrics have an optimistic character thanks to the rolling rock'n'roll that the Followill brothers are masters of. The legacy of Southern rock, blues and garage punk is ever-present in most of the songs. Chords played in unison by the two rhythm guitars, open harmonies played by bowed string instruments and major scales in simple guitar solos resonate with true feeling and precision. Kings Of Leon are at the peak of their musical ability.

Kings Of Leon – Can We Please Have Fun

Kings Of Leon – Can We Please Have Fun

LoveTap Records, 00:44:55


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Martin Hošna