Well, the transformation is complete and absolute. With this record, Kings of Leon have become the U2 of Tennessee — complete with nothing but soaring choruses and chimey-reverbed Edge guitars. How did such a cool band turn its sound into harmless arena rock so quickly?
This record is heart-breakingly formulaic and lacks the fresh adventure of KOL’s first three records.
The Followill clan is apparently content to hop on the mainstream gravy train, complete with Good Morning America appearances and the inevitable football game halftime show.
There’s not much to recommend here other than “Mary,” which is the only track done with any real conviction. This was once a rollicking and fun band, but the only time I smiled here was during the randy “Mi Amigo.” Come Around Sundown opens with the lyrics, “This could be the end.” Yes, the end of me thinking the Kings were worth a damn.