Album: Kings of Leon, Come Around Sundown (RCA)
It's not rare for performers to burn up in the sudden supernova of success, though one wouldn't have expected it of a band that has built as steadily as Kings Of Leon, from small-scale indie credibility to chart-invading star status.
But Come Around Sundown is riddled with expressions of violent dissatisfaction, Caleb Followill's usual fretting over social inadequacies and showbiz hypocrisy reaching a height that sours many of the songs. "Everything I cherish is slowly dying," he laments in "Pyro", and he's not wrong. In particular, the musical variety of previous albums has been supplanted by an almost blanket application of U2-style cylical arpeggiated riffing that condenses everything to bombast and angst. The sole exception is the bogus country-rocker "Back Down South", which reduces that region to a cliché of drunken brawling.
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