Music News

Kings of Leon

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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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts