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Kings of Leon

Only by the Night
RCA

Caleb Followill and the other members of the Kings family once seemed content with updating '70s Southern rock for the new millennium — but no more. Only by the Night is a bid for mass popularity and critical acclaim of the sort typically associated with Chris Martin, not Tennessee-bred good ol' boys. "Crawl" booms with effectively rendered Euro-centric arena ambitions, while "Be Somebody" somehow manages to make George-of-the-Jungle drums seem propulsive instead of dopey. Elsewhere, unfortunately, the Followills' commercial quest leads them in too-obvious directions. "Revelry" dribbles their early influences with drecky "oooh-ooohs," and "Use Somebody" sounds as if it was composed to accompany a shot of an emotional Izzie storming down a hallway during a very special episode of Grey's Anatomy. Such is the price of fame.

 
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