Come Around Sundown review by Kings of Leon

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  • Released: Oct 15, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.5 (114 votes)
Kings of Leon: Come Around Sundown
7

Sound — 7
Since releasing Only By Night in 2008, the Followill brothers have essentially become a worldwide phenomenon. The siblings, otherwise known as Kings of Leon, penned two of the most recognizable tunes of the past few years (Use Somebody, Sex On Fire), resulting in the Tennessee-based band being put under the microscope more than ever before. Upon listening to Come Around Sundown, Kings of Leon's fifth studio album, it's hard not to be a bit more judgmental, expecting another gem that churns out hit single after hit single. That being said, the band certainly has plenty of single-worthy fare on Come Around Sundown, but perhaps nothing that lands the immediate effect of a song like Sex On Fire. Probably not by any type of coincidence, the album begins with a track interestingly titled The End. The dreamy, mellow offering highlights a strength that is ever-present on the entire album, namely the band's knack at choosing some of the most interesting, mood-inducing guitar effects out there. While the song is fairly straightforward, The End is one of the most moving songs on the entire CD thanks to Caleb Followill's passionate delivery. Radioactive is the first single on Come Around Sundown, undoubtedly because the chorus is immediately infectious and you'll be humming the melody love it or hate it for the rest of the day. At times the album gets stuck in repetitive arrangements, but Kings of Leon are able to dig themselves out of a hole through their arsenal of effects. Radioactive does tend to get a bit obsessive with the repeating chorus, and you'll realize that is the case at several moments on the record. A track like the homegrown-fueled Back Down South may not venture too far from the core, bare-bones arrangement, but it feels like you are getting a slice from the brothers' life not to mention the use of what sounds like slide guitar, which is always a refreshing touch. Mi Amigo carries the same stripped-down-but-honest feel, but of course, that doesn't mean Kings of Leon go full-on unplugged at any time. They are in many ways driven by the haunting, echo-rich guitar tones permeating Come Around Sundown, and it certainly has defined a big part of their sound thus far.

Lyrics — 8
For as radio-friendly as the Kings of Leon have become, you can't accuse them of reining themselves in too much. Mi Amigo puts it all out there with lines like, I've got a friend Who helps me to get up again; Showers me in boozes; Tells me I've got a big ole dick; And she wants my ass home. Granted, the majority of the tracks aren't that blunt, but the band does have a way of putting their own unique twist on the usual rhyme sequence (All the black inside me is slowly seeping from the bone; Everything I cherished is slowly dying or is gone; Little shaking babies and drunkards seem to all agree; Once the show gets started its bound to be a sight to see in Pryo). It's true that the choruses get tired after awhile because of their frequency, but elsewhere the band has written some fairly interesting content.

Overall Impression — 8
Caleb Followill seems to have eased up on his passionate delivery ever so slightly, and that most likely has to do with the fact that he's found love with a supermodel. It's hard to ooze melancholy when you have that going for you. In any case, the band as a whole has some intriguing moments on Come Around Sundown whether it's the Buddy Holly-esque approach to Mary, the jazzy chords of Beach Side, or the energized percussion of Nathan Followill in Pony Up. Come Around Sundown won't wow you immediately, but it will likely grow on most listeners.

48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SOADriff
    definitely an improvement on OBTN. Much more southern and beachy sounding. Pretty much what you would get if Youth and Young Manhood + OBTN had retarded babies. still lacks the raw edge the first 3 records had that made me fall in love with this band. I dunno, at least it's an improvement on OBTN.
    Compy01
    I'm sick of all the KOL fan boys crying their hearts out over Only By The Night. I love Kings of Leon, but OBTN was their best album. They have had other, brilliant albums, but OBTN is a clear cut above the rest.
    timeforheroes
    Just a footnote UG, one of them is a cousin, so they're not all brothers! Pickup Truck is definitley my favourite tune!
    The3rdMugician
    no money is my favorite. its good. its more like aha and because had retarded babies to me. Its a decent album and I say an improvement overall from OBTN which had a few tracks id skip (unlike the first 3 albums) where this one has me listening to all but one. Meh. We'll see how it goes when I get a Nashville tour date
    ikantuna
    The album is pretty good... although the best for me are still Aha Shake Heartbreak and Youth and Young Manhood. even now they sound abit poppy but they earn the shit out of it. and thank god we're not buying any of Lady Gaga product
    EternalLife18
    im not gonna lie i was all set to hate this album (im one of those guys who came in with aha shake and lol'd when sex on fire came out) but after a few listens its pretty good, not the best work but its a good album they just seem kinda confused right now i suspect the next album will be more concise
    Booney3721
    Yeah I have to agree that this album goes back to their roots I believe, Mary is prolly my fav. song on this album its got that old 50's slow/ rock starting elvis kick to it, kinda like the stray cats did with their music....I love it
    RocknRory
    This album is great. Stop hatin' stuff that gets popular. Stupid hipsters. I do understand of getting tired of overplayed stuff though.
    Sgt.Pepper
    Ill have to wait and listen but I realy hope its a good record Kings is one of my favorite bands and though i dont hate on their "only by the night" fame I hope this has some Oldschool KOL sound
    rocknrollstar
    Why does being sucessful mean selling out? Kings of Leon didn't ask for radio stations to overplay Sex on Fire or Use Somebody. I'd love it if people cared about my music the way people care about theirs. Theres a difference between writing catchy songs and doing butter commercials.
    Paro_metalhead
    couldnt agree more reviewer...IT FAILS TO BE COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL!!! At least thats a good start, no sell out records like OBTN anymore it seems, but I think they couldve made a better album, tracks dont really stand out as much as their 3 god records, but its still a pretty good album imo
    Maxico
    SOADriff wrote: definitely an improvement on OBTN. Much more southern and beachy sounding. Pretty much what you would get if Youth and Young Manhood + OBTN had retarded babies.
    I will love this so much!!!
    pullingthrough
    Paro_metalhead : couldnt agree more reviewer...IT FAILS TO BE COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL!!! At least thats a good start, no sell out records like OBTN anymore it seems, but I think they couldve made a better album, tracks dont really stand out as much as their 3 god records, but its still a pretty good album imo
    I don't understand people like you, your saying that since it wont be a commercial success it is a better album? Isn't the whole point of an album to be successful, make money, and play music you love? Personnally I loved Only by the Night, and thought it was as good if not better than their first their albums. I cant wait to hear this album
    AngelOfHatred
    I like this album a lot more than Only By The Night. It seems to sound more like their first few albums in a sense, which is where I started. I didn't like the "rockstar" feel off Only By The Night, I'm liking the mellow yet awesome tones on Come Around Sundown. I managed to pick up a copy last night at work.
    pandacorn
    Why would any real fan of them, not just a fan of Sex on fire and use somebody, want them to make the same album? Why would you want that for any band you like?
    JoeyLeBlanc997
    Get over yourselves. Only By The Night was a great album, commercially successful or not. The Kings may have adjusted their sound and taken out some of the rawness of their initial approach to music, but oh what a shame it is to have perfect timing. Come on, there shouldn't be any grounds to argue over music. You like it or you don't, if you don't, fine. But don't emit negative energy because they made an album YOU didn't like. Chill bros.
    smartflight
    JoeyLeBlanc997 wrote: Get over yourselves. Only By The Night was a great album, commercially successful or not. The Kings may have adjusted their sound and taken out some of the rawness of their initial approach to music, but oh what a shame it is to have perfect timing. Come on, there shouldn't be any grounds to argue over music. You like it or you don't, if you don't, fine. But don't emit negative energy because they made an album YOU didn't like. Chill bros.
    Totally. If you don't like it, go listen to something you like. I hope I get onboard with this album of Kings of Leon. I'm gonna listen to it tomorrow!
    fartsyjoe420
    rocknrollstar wrote: Why does being sucessful mean selling out? Kings of Leon didn't ask for radio stations to overplay Sex on Fire or Use Somebody. I'd love it if people cared about my music the way people care about theirs. Theres a difference between writing catchy songs and doing butter commercials.
    this. the new album is great imo. growth as a band and still they're staying very true to their roots. i think this is actually one of (if not) their best album.
    samuraimusaki
    I think this album sounds like The National. Just putting it out there. If you like the album and are interested in the sound, check them out.
    chy_qn
    b_raden21 wrote: because of the times was the best cd by far.
    this, totally. all my fav songs are from bott
    AirHendrix91
    If this means a departure from that shit fest they called Only By The Night, then count me in.
    Lou_Dog
    hmm personally i would rather get shot than listen to their music because of the guy's terrible voice (imo), but i respect them for not making another sell out record.
    False_God
    Imo anything can be better than OBTN. Liked 3 songs off of it and thought the rest were just boring and repetitive. Have only heard Radioactive and its a good song so will give this a listen.
    danbach0495
    Only by the Night was a masterpiece regardless of its commercial success or not. Its simply the wrong way to judge an album. Come Around sundown in my opinion is just lacking something. Maybe its just because there last album really won me over and i have high expectations. Either way tho from what i heard of there website, after the fourth track theyr sound just started to get old.
    awwyea9023
    this album is good, not great, but good. it is much more mellow minus a few songs, and it seems like the band didn't wanna take any giants steps. it's a fun listen, but for the most part the album doesn't truly resemble kings of leon, as their loud, grunginess is almost non-existent. caleb's singing also cahnged a bit, and it seems like he is actually trying to sing rather than using his raspy scream. the more i listen to the album, however, the more ordinary it is to me. only by the night was just so good, and it's hard to follow that. personally, i think come around sundown is their worst album, BUT it is still good. all of their music is great. i'm curious to see how they incorporate the slower tunes into their shows.
    Cainus Anus
    pullingthrough wrote: Paro_metalhead : couldnt agree more reviewer...IT FAILS TO BE COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL!!! At least thats a good start, no sell out records like OBTN anymore it seems, but I think they couldve made a better album, tracks dont really stand out as much as their 3 god records, but its still a pretty good album imo I don't understand people like you, your saying that since it wont be a commercial success it is a better album? Isn't the whole point of an album to be successful, make money, and play music you love? Personnally I loved Only by the Night, and thought it was as good if not better than their first their albums. I cant wait to hear this album
    TOTALLY AGREE. Some people don't understand how ridiculous they sound when they change their minds about liking an album, because now a bunch of other people like it too. they bag out other people for following the POP crowd, but they are just following the ANTI-POP crowd.
    Fenderlicous
    I don't understand why the album can't be good if it doesn't have a ton of singles on it? I don't base what I listen to based on "single producing potential." I think this album goes more back to their roots. I'm not dissing OBTN, I liked it a lot, it just wasn't true to who they were. It was their leap into the world of mega-successful pop/alt/rock/whatever you wanna call it. So I'm actually surprised they could go back to the old stuff. Glad they're not stuck on the pop music trend.
    Underjoggle
    I liked Only By The Night, but overplaying "Sex On Fire" and "Use Somebody" on the radio actually did ruin those songs for me (I'm from Tennessee, so they got double airtime). I hope this one is more like Aha Shake Heartbreak.
    Case101
    If you are a fan of this band you will enjoy the music, commercial success is what all bands and artist's work for on some level. I think this is a great album/c.d as I like this band and will support them buy purchasing it adding to the commercial success that they have come to enjoy. Great band's evolve and if they did not we would be stuck with a lot crap! turn on your radio today and you understand what I am saying. The sound,lyrics and overall feel to this album is quality and the musical direction is growth and that is what I want to hear.
    devotion
    Fenderlicous wrote: I don't understand why the album can't be good if it doesn't have a ton of singles on it? I don't base what I listen to based on "single producing potential." I think this album goes more back to their roots. I'm not dissing OBTN, I liked it a lot, it just wasn't true to who they were. It was their leap into the world of mega-successful pop/alt/rock/whatever you wanna call it. So I'm actually surprised they could go back to the old stuff. Glad they're not stuck on the pop music trend.
    i dont think its quite that much like their older stuff, but its like...a point between OBTN and BOTT. which is really good imo. i loved every KOL album so far.
    jprez63
    Underjoggle wrote: I liked Only By The Night, but overplaying "Sex On Fire" and "Use Somebody" on the radio actually did ruin those songs for me (I'm from Tennessee, so they got double airtime). I hope this one is more like Aha Shake Heartbreak.
    I couldn't agree with you more. They did overplay the shit out of Sex on Fire and Use Somebody. I liked Only by the Night and in my opinion, I think it is their best album. But after listening to this album, I really dig it. Jared's basslines are better than ever and I can just tell from the first four albums, how he has improved. Nathan's beats make the songs sound very unique compared to their other albums, Caleb's vocals are still perfect, and Matt's guitar fills are very strong and good as always. The album does have some country in it, which me being from West Virginia, makes me like the album even more haha (Mi Amigo and Back Down South for example). My favorites are Pickup Truck, Back Down South, The End, and Radioactive. I've probably listened to Pickup Truck ten times in a row now lol. But I will say it is not as good as Only by the Night but it is still very good. It reminds me of Because of the Times a lot. If you are true fan, or even if you're not a true fan, go buy the album on the 19th. Trust me, it will grow on you.
    Alice2Mudgarden
    Everyone knows this band isn't really rock n' roll. They're, in every meaning of the words, sell-outs. They play dull, generic music, and not worth this site's front page.
    Eifler121
    Alice2Mudgarden wrote: Everyone knows this band isn't really rock n' roll. They're, in every meaning of the words, sell-outs. They play dull, generic music, and not worth this site's front page.
    I disagree, and I'm widely into the same music as you; judging buy your name. Nothing about their sound, especially from Only By the Night sounds like anyone else, his voice alone is unique enough to make that happen. Also, their first three albums, which are more consistantly good than Only by the Night, are incredibly good. I can tell you've heard a couple songs by them, found out other people like them, and automatically shut them out.
    klutz182
    Underjoggle wrote: I liked Only By The Night, but overplaying "Sex On Fire" and "Use Somebody" on the radio actually did ruin those songs for me (I'm from Tennessee, so they got double airtime). I hope this one is more like Aha Shake Heartbreak.
    Yeah, for me my favourite album from them is Aha Shake Heartbreak.
    drug.me.2.hell
    OBTN was a sell-out record even Caleb said he wished they had never released Sex On Fire as a single, but in my opinion Aha Shake Heartbreak was the best record by them
    jacksonrhcp
    I haven't read any of the other comments, but I downloaded the album when it leaked and it was so good I had to buy it. I'm not one of them new school KOL fans I personally think Aha Shake is their best album but Come Around Sundown is brilliant with songs like "Pyro" and "Pickup Truck"
    dmalee
    This might be one of the better albums I have ever heard. They purposely didn't write another 'sex on fire' or 'use somebody'. They went back to their roots and put a new spin on it and it sounds amazing. These guys don't wanna conform to the mainstream radio scene. They like to make music the way they want to, and that is clearly seen on this record. Round of applause for a great album!
    Booney3721
    Each album has gotten better, You look at only by the night album every song is a master piece, This album to me is just a step up form it completely mesmerizing me again. The two songs I believe that are the best known on the Come around sundown is "immortals" and "radioactive" These songs reach out and touch me because me and my cousin are both playing in a band now and we are from a pole dump town in KY called Benton and everybody tells us we will never make it in the music business and these 2 songs inspire us on 2 different notes...Immortals inspired us because to me it explains that get out there and go, just keep walking forward and find out who you really are, don't forget what your doing but just get out there and chase your dreams...Again not all music has to have a purpose or a meaning behind it but that's what that song says to my ears....Radioactive to me explains that no matter where your go though in life home is home, Though we hate this pole dump community because it all centered around country, religion,and gospel music no matter where we go its still home and you have to come back every now and then to see your friends and family and to see how much your home has changed....This is my opinion agree or disagree it all makes no difference over all this album has touched my heart in many ways that no other album has and King of Leon knows what true music is these days unlike many many many others who I will not dare to call artists.
    repairman jack
    i am a big KoL fan, and have been for a while. when i first heard that their new album was going to have the sound of their first two records, i was pretty stoked. upon listening to CASR, i was incredibly disappointed. ive listened to the whole album through a few times, and only find about four tracks worthwhile. the song, Pyro, is easily the best track on the whole record, with Pickup Truck and The End following closely behind. there is a lot of what i found to be crap on this record.. almost filler-type material. it *does* sound beachy, and that isnt a good thing. leave the beach-music to Jack Johnson, please... i want my old KoL back.
    elcapitan1800
    I love these guys, all 4 of their previous cds were outstanding imo. But I have listened through this one probably 10 times now, and it still hasnt hooked me. There arent any real rockers or the passionate growling vocals from their old stuff. Hopefully it gets better with time, but at the moment I am a little disappointed.