Sound — 10
This is the much anticipated follow up to the Followill boy's debut album 'Youth And Young Manhood' that took the music world by storm. The down and dirty tennessee rock LP, so bursting of raw energy that you could practically smell the testosterone. This same raw energy was encaptured by label-mates 'The Strokes', in their debut 'Is This It?' However, when trying something different in the follow up 'Room On Fire', the album although still much better than a lot of the other releases of the year, flopped in comparison. So, when the Followill clan, announced the release of a seconds album only 18 months after their debut the world was on tenterhooks as to whether the same would happen. Thankfully, I can say that 'Aha Shake Heartbreak' is the follow up we were all hoping for and much, much more. Although lacking as much raw energy as their debut, this album is so innovative, so musically and technically brilliant that it encapsulate you so much that Pete Doherty will become an estate agent before this album leaves your CD player. With the success of their debut, the Kings could afford to try something different and exciting, and first time round listening, the Followills wont cease to surprise you. From the complete change of character of 'Slow Night, So Long', just as you think it has finished, to the beautiful 'Milk', that builds up to the encapsulating chorus, only to slow right down again just when you least expect it at the end. But perhaps one of the best things about this album is that many of you will not get most it first time round, yet it will beg at you to be listened to again, and as you do it'll draw you in and won't let you go.
Lyrics — 8
Caleb's masterful southern drawl is once again on top form whether he's singing or yodelling (Day Old Blues), and once again, you'll probably need the help of the booklet to work out what he's saying, but this time you actually get all the lyrics in the booklet with the album. So no more will all your freinds be singing along to tyhe album with all completly different interperatations of the lyrics. Lyrics I think, are one of this bands many strengths, and this album really shows it. The subversivness of his lyrics means that Caleb can be singing about one subject, while his lyrics indicate something completly different. Yet on other songs, the meaning is really obvious but the choice of words is extraordinary. Such is this band that they can also sing about anything from fighting at parties in 'Four Kicks', to an unfortunate case of brewers droop in 'Soft'.
Overall Impression — 10
Recorded in analogue, it really captures the emotion and involvement of the band, and their stories (and conquests) from 18 months on the road. There is not one bad song on this album, producing one better than their first would have been hard, but they managed it, and managed it magnificantly. One of the most important albums of the year, and one of the best!