Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kings of Leon vs. America

What is wrong with Americans? (Yes I realize that question could take hours, even days to answer). But the offense to which I am referring, is how can they be so blind as to ignore one of the most driving, talented rock and roll bands that their country has produced this decade?

Kings of Leon are massive in the UK - they were one of the headliners at Glastonbury this year - they can't leave their hotel without being photographed or followed by fans and paparazzi. Yet in their own country, they are under appreciated and widely unacknowledged.

Now the music press are speculating that their new album Only by the Night (released yesterday - and yes - I bought it yesterday), might be the album to finally bring the band hometown glory. Why? Well apparently because:
"The Kings' fourth album is a pared-back record that replaces
those ear-shredding riffs and vocal shrieks that hindered last year's
Because of the Times with something more understated"
-Chris Schulz
Now is it just me, or is that a back-handed compliment? It seems the general consensus is that in order to win over America, all KOL had to do was polish away all of the grit and rough edges that have defined who they are as a band for years. Thanks music press, for being so bloody open minded.

If you asked me (and most KOL fans in my experience) to choose between the first two albums (Youth and Young Manhood/Aha Shake Heartbreak), and the second two (Because of the Times/Only by the Night) I would without a doubt choose the first two. I love the raw and dirty down south rock they brought to the table with those records, but I also understand and appreciate that bands are inevitably going to grow and change because *shock* bands are made up of PEOPLE who inevitably do the same! Nobody wants to make the same record 5 times (Okay...there are plenty of bands that do...I know), so I get the progression, I see the growth and I respect it, and I dig it.

Good on you Kings. Fuck the American listeners, fuck the music press, just keep on doing what you do, because there are millions out there that DO get it, and appreciate it.

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