"Only By the Night" by Kings of Leon (2008)
Talk about your polarizers, Kings of Leon's new album Only By the Night will start you down the path of fisticuffs with people who are passionate about this band. Friends that I have talked to that never liked this band to begin with love the new sound and direction which pits the Followill clan down the road of giant, arena-sized hooks that The Killers would be jealous of. Others whose opinion I value as well downright hate this album because of the exact same reason. They're pissed off because The Strokes of Southern-Rock sound have been tainted by production that doesn't apologize for wanting to try and become the biggest Rock band in the world. For me, I've always liked these guys, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that Only By the Night is the first record they've churned out that I truly love.
Right from the first listen one can easily tell that Only By the Night was influenced by U2 which isn't all that surprising considering Kings of Leon have been trying to break big in American markets for the last couple of records. Funny that this little band from Tennessee are stadium fillers everywhere else in the world except in their own backyard. Only By the Night should easily change that. Their performances of "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody" on Saturday Night Live a few weeks back was the kind of performance that people will point to and say this was the moment when the Kings swam out in the swifter Mainstream waters and America stopped and took notice.. The rest of the album is top drawer material as well and if you enjoyed those two songs you've got nine other tracks here that are just as good. Love it (like me) or hate it, Only By the Night should prove, once and for all, that Kings of Leon are making their mark and are far from being pretenders to the crown.
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