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could be said that Kings of Leon have had ideas above their station for a long time, filling stadiums, million selling records even headlining Glastonbury…at some point this success was surly going to catch up with them and they would realise that they were punching above their weight, loose the plot and ‘go a bit U2’.
It’s fair to say however that KOL’s rise to success thus far has been deserved; they have somehow made the jump from cult indie band to main stream rock gods in only a few short years.  Through their previous four albums they have embellished their sound accordingly to accommodate a wider audience, with each of the records sonically getting bigger and more accessible. This has been commonly viewed as the band ‘selling out’ but realistically each album has seen them and their song writing grow in a way that seemed very natural. What Kings of Leon have done and always managed to do very well is write excellent pop songs in the most simplistic of ways; begging way back on the debut LP ‘Youth And Young Manhood’ with tracks like ‘Molly’s Chambers’, a scruffy  raw chug of a song built around a couple of very simple chords, through ‘The Bucket’ from ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’, ‘On Call’ from ‘Because Of The Times’ right through to ‘Use Somebody’ from their last record ‘Only By The Night’ the progression is there for all to see, a band finding their stride and quite simply getting bigger and better.
So by that notion their new record and fifth studio album ‘Come Around Sundown’ should be a masterpiece in modern rock? Sadly that’s just not the case. Whereas every other release has seen the band come forward in leaps and bounds ‘Sundown’ seems to be ‘Only By The night MkII’ except without the belief. The message as whole speaks of the band returning to their roots, going back to their home soil after spending what seemed like an eternity (seriously was there a festival they didn’t headline in the last two years?) touring ‘Only By The Night’ with tracks like ‘Back Down South’ and the single ‘Radioactive’, the ludicrous soft focus video for which sees the band frolicking with a group of black children, (they are the only white guys in the video), playing football with them and teaching them how to fish, with repeated shots of Caleb Flowhill in a barn, a large light emanating from behind him making him appear ‘god-like’. 
As well as a lack of obvious progression, a step forward or at least a leftfield avant-garde move the most disappointing thing is ‘Sundown’s’  poor lyrics, they simply don’t mean anything. Caleb has admitted that he ad-libbed most of the words saying he ‘free floated’ everything. Now we all know that ‘Kings’ haven’t been lyrical geniuses but whereas on the early records Caleb deliberately tried to obscure his vocals as he didn’t believe his lyrics strong enough carry the tracks here they are pushed right to the front, every syllable pronounced and produced in a glittering form for all to hear. Without any meaning they simply don’t make you sing along in the way that biggest hit to date ‘Sex On Fire’ did, even that had loose meaning for those that missed it (a one night stand). That’s not to say their isn’t some great songs here, album opener ‘The End’ is a slow burning echo laden jam and the previously mentioned ‘Back down South’ – a country rock stomper.
Sadly Kings of Leon have just lost their cool with this offering, it’s not a shocker, and in no way a bad record but when you have come to expect so much from a band it’s hard to accept an album of such little depth.  ‘Come Around Sundown’ is radio/stadium friendly record that you won’t be able to avoid hearing on the air waves, in shops, on adverts and everywhere else you step for the coming months and with Kings Of Leon just announcing a string of dates next summer including their own mini festivals in Hyde Park and a huge Glastonbury sized gap in the tour schedule it looks like this small smudge on the kings career thus far will not stop their rise to rock-royalty.