The first three tracks on ‘Youth & Young Manhood’ included Wasted Time and Happy Alone, ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak‘ included King Of The Radio and Taper Jean Girl, ‘Because Of The Times‘ had both Charmer and On Call while the mighty ‘Only By The Night’ opened with Closer, Crawl, and Sex On Fire. All are fan favourites and have been since their respective releases. The Kings Of Leon’s ability to produce an album with strong openers has been commented on many times in the past and I can only agree. If you include Use Somebody,’Only By The Night‘ had one of the strongest opening four tracks that 2008 saw.
Two years down the line and Kings Of Leon are about to release their fifth album to much anticipation, though seem destined to leave fans underwhelmed. Album opener The End slowly drags itself through its 4 minutes and 23 seconds life as lead singer Caleb Followill drones over a repetitive bass line. The first single released from Come Around Sundown, Radioactive takes its place as track two and at a minute shorter than The End is a faster, punchier track. But despite radio play having ingrained this song into many a mind, it does nothing to grab attention in the way many previous tracks on all their previous albums have.
Come track three, the dull plod of the album was clear. Pyro becomes the third track in a row to drone through the speakers. Even the heavier Mary, which is possibly the album highlight, is soon followed by more tracks of the same nature as tracks one, two and three.
For such a fantastic band to produce something so mediocre is a terrible shame and seriously had me wondering if Come Around Sundown wasn’t actually a B-Sides compilation. Kings Of Leon will continue to be a brilliant live band and will surely fit many tracks from this album comfortably into their set. Unfortunately, it looks like the album openers to all four of their previous albums will be the ones audiences will shout requests for, and not The End.
Come Around Sundown was released on October 15th, 2010