Local Sounds: Kings Of Leon's 'Walls' lacks authenticity

Nov 18 2016
Posted by: Staff
Local Sounds: Kings Of Leon's 'Walls' lacks authenticity

By: Tyler Kes

Kings of Leon
RCA Records

The good news for fans of Kings of Leon: their new album, Walls, is not something that will scare you away from listening to it.

This is the seventh studio release for the locally sourced family foursome.

They’ve been around for 15 years and when a band reaches this level, I think there is always the concern that any new album is going to tarnish the sound and reception of the previous works. That is not the case with Walls, because it sounds so much like what has come before.

Despite being produced by Markus Dravs, who previously worked with indie-darlings like Mumford & Sons, Florence + The Machine and Arcade Fire, the newest release from Kings of Leon would not be out of place in 2008. It is the same lightly Southern-fused classic garage rock style music that Kings of Leon has been producing for a while now.

It isn't a bad thing – if you like that sort of thing. The album kicks off with “Waste a Moment,” the current single from the album, and it’s fine.

Lyrically, it is nothing exciting, but I think in time it will become another track to turn the volume up on a bit when it comes on the radio.

As far as the rest of the album, most of the tracks are more of the same.

Two tracks stand out: “Over,” because it wears its Southern influences more proudly on its sleeve, as does the song “Muchacho,” a slow, atmospheric throwback to the kind of story-based Western songs that you really just don’t hear anymore. It is probably the clearest that lead singer Caleb Followfill’s voice is and the way he seeds in the sadness and real emotion just doesn’t show up on other songs.

I guess I am a little disappointed that the band did not do more of this kind of stylistic exploration. We’ve all heard what Kings of Leon is capable of doing in the garage rock world; it would be nice to see what they are capable of when they open it up a bit.

To sum it up, there is just something that feels soulless about Walls.

Many of the tracks have to deal with loneliness or being left by your significant other, or otherwise depressing topics, but I cannot imagine this album being heavily played during a breakup.

It just doesn’t feel authentic.

Again, if you like Kings of Leon, then you will probably enjoy this album. For everyone else, I think you can skip this one. 

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