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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Walls’ breathes new life into Kings of Leon’s sound


    (Jimmy Marbles) King of Leon’s new album Walls officially released Friday, Oct. 14. This is the seventh studio album from the Nashville-based band.

    Whether in a literal or metaphorical sense, sometimes the walls we build around ourselves need to come down. American rock band Kings of Leon try to figure out what walls need to come down for it in its aptly titled album, Walls, released Friday Oct. 14.

    Kings of Leon is one big family, in the most literal sense possible. The band originally hails from Nashville, Tennessee and consists of three brothers and their cousin, serving as as the penultimate symbol of just how big a family band can get.

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    Frontman Caleb Followill soothes the soul with his raspy, Southern voice, backed by his equally-as-talented family members.

    In Walls, the band’s seventh studio album, the family dynamic has become more prevalent than ever, as the Followills navigate the listener through the varied walls of the record.

    With this new release, Kings of Leon sounds deeper and more mature than ever before. Some songs create slower melodies that may cause listeners to want to sit in the dark corner of the nearest bar and reflect on life, while other faster songs on the record spark inspiration to live life to the fullest.

    All the songs on the band’s album have a cinematic touch to them — they could all easily play at the end of a movie as the main character gloriously drives into the sunset. That ultimately serves as the test of a successful Kings of Leon song though, right?

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    Album opener “Waste a Moment” gets the kings off to a good start as Caleb sings, “Take the time to waste a moment.” The track has the band’s combination of Southern garage rock and alternative sounds, somewhat similar to their smash hit “Sex on Fire.”

    From there, KOL mixes up the sound a little bit with each track. No two songs on the record sound exactly the same.

    There’s the church-like hymns of “Reverend” along with the Latin-rock roots prevalent in “Muchacho” and the traditional alternative rock sound heard in “Find Me.”

    Of course, just about every song comes with a classic and catchy Kings of Leon guitar riff, each of which has the potential to stay in the listener’s head long after the album stops playing.

    The record closes with title track “WALLS (We Are Like Love Songs),” a slow, poetic melody that really allows Caleb to show off his vocal chops. He sings about “when the walls come down,” giving listeners one last little bit of memorable music to hang onto.

    Kings of Leon’s chief talent probably lies in its music itself as opposed to the writing of lyrics. The Followills have to be better than “We Are Like Love Songs.” Walls in itself is a perfectly adequate album title. Why couldn’t the band have just left it at that?

    Still, Caleb’s vocals sound just as beautifully-gritty as ever, and the rest of the Followills follow suit in their own way, creating an album that builds off the band’s previous work while also injecting new life into the band’s sound.

    It may not completely knock down all the walls that KOL has put up with redundant-sounding studio albums, but Walls still comes across as one of the best works the band has released in a long time.

    Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter

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