From a garage in Nashville to a studio in L.A., Kings of Leon say goodbye to their Southern roots and artistically embrace their modern image in the band’s fifth album release, “Come Around Sundown.” With fewer sporadic guitar scales and forceful crooning, the band has matured with more ballad instrumentals and sincere vocals.
Beginning with the first released track, “The End,” the band reflects on its successes and pays tribute to its 1980s country rock inspirations. In “Back Down South,” the band reminisces about the romantic Southern life it would have led had it not chosen fame. The song’s honky-tonk sound and pulsating beat celebrate the heart and soul of country.
The band’s allegiance to a reserved musical intimacy in this album has skimped on the artists’ original talents. What used to be a mix of rock and roll, country and light psychedelia, Kings of Leon’s cleaner sound has lost some of its authenticity.
Though the album hardly features primitive-sounding selections like the band’s former billboard hit “Sex on Fire,” minor vocal wails and electric guitar slides in “Radioactive” still pay tribute to Kings of Leon’s college-rock years.
Slowing down the pulsating snare and rebuilding it to its original rhythm, drummer Nathan Followill carries “Pick Up Truck.” Pulses of percussion continue with lighter sounds in songs like “The Face.” Tracks like “Mi Amigo” incorporate mainstream choruses and familiar instrumentals.
Now, with lighter instrumental solos mirroring narrative lyrics in songs like “Pyro,” Kings of Leon embodies a more serious rock. The sound is intended to resonate with both longtime fans and recent followers.