CORBIT KELLY – The Corsair
The new sugar coated release from Tennessee brothers (and a cousin) Kings of Leon is the final straw for any hopes of returning to the southern grit and glory they once expelled from the simple chords and rusty tones, what exalted them in the beginning. Come around Sundown is another polished FM radio album for rebellious mothers and top 40 teens, although there are specific jewels hidden amongst the album.
It seems KOL have traded musical strength and original soul for a few weeks on the charts. Come around Sundown lacks even the infectious arena track, such as “Use Somebody,” although the single and video track “Radioactive” is a new sound for them, with choir accompaniment and male oohs, it brings some new insight to the soul of the band. The album comes off as a search, a trip of sorts, to the simpler southern roots they came from. But rather than return in the shabby car they arrived in, they fly a private jet.
The tracks resemble studio time jam sessions, building blocks of a possibly great structure, but never really going anywhere. The opening track “The End” starts off with an arena sound, building up to a powerful verse, but never really advancing. With the chorus being “This could be the end” I’d sing along at a concert, but nothing more. Other tracks such as “Pyro” and “Birthday” are pretty, polished with the slightest diluted grit.
The few tracks worth checking out are the more drum and bass powered ones, “Beach Side” and “The Face.” Actually, the one shining performance throughout the album is the bass lines; Jared Followill keeps the lulling audience somewhat entertained with his four finger diversity. With the one track that’s really exceptional being “Mi Amigo” a song about a good friend with a southern fried groove. We even get a slight glimpse of the squeal rasps Caleb caught our attention with the first two albums. If you loved “Only by the Night” then you would most likely enjoy this album. If you haven’t yet, I recommend without limit listening to their second album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, it’s sad to think KOL will never create such music again. As Caleb swoons on The Face, “If you give up New York, I’ll give you Tennessee,” it seems even he can’t give up New York fame for Tennessee soul.