Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

written by: October 15, 2010
Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown album artwork Release Date:


On first listen, Come Around Sundown, the latest release from Tennessee rock group Kings of Leon, is barely worth a second spin; however, the positives have a way of poking through.

While there are parts where the instrumentation overshadows Caleb Followill’s vocals, his sore, raspy voice, whether contrived or natural, continues to work for the listeners.  

The album takes some time to find its groove, but four songs in and the audience can forget that this is the same band responsible for pulling the heart strings of bro-tastic men across the nation in need of “somebody.”

The fourth song,  “Mary,” though not a familiar sound for Kings of Leon, is the necessary turning point.  The song’s beach vibe catches listeners’ attention and gives the album life. The song is rocking, swaying and bee-bopping all at once.

Matt Followill’s first attempt at slide guitar can be heard in “Back Down South” and, according to cousin Caleb, was the inspiration for the whole song. The slide driven, slow moving  jingle joyfully picks up tempo as more instruments join throughout the song. The instrumentation is a full on country two step dance, while the singing gives it that good ol’ rock feel.  It’s a great candidate for a country-crossover hit.

The band ventures out of their comfort zone only a few times on this album, which only helps. Kings of Leon has stuck to its sound, while continuing to evolve as a band. One example of this transgression is “Beachside.” The album tends to drone a bit and songs like “Beachside” help break up the drab continuity. The smooth sound of the guitars with the bumping bass gives it more of an upbeat-ambient mix and less of a rock one, making it a pleasant listen.

The bright parts of the album, such as “Back Down South” and “Pony Up” definitely carry the weight for an album already burdened with heavy expectations. However, it’s simply not enough for the dark areas like “Birthday” and “Mi Amigo, ” which only add to the abundant slow driving songs.

“Pick Up Truck” is the last and longest song on Come Around Sundown. It is also quite possibly the best song on the album, showcasing Caleb’s voice and conveying strong emotions.

In an interview on the band’s website the guys confess to being in love with the “romance of the southern man.” They speak of romance with great passion,  but have failed to get the point across in the music and perhaps did a better job of that on the last effort. However, it is clear this is an album the band made for themselves and the fans, and though they’ve taken some definite risks by branching out, it’s paid off.

The audience will go home happy with this one.