"Only by the Night" by Kings of Leon

May 25, 2010
By Benm21 SILVER, New York, New York
Benm21 SILVER, New York, New York
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

This past year has seen the release of a couple of new albums by various bands. Kings of Leon’s latest work “Only by the Night” being one of them. The album has been the bands most successful to date and skyrocketed them onto the main stage of American music. Not to say that Kings of Leon weren’t successful before the release of “Only by the Night”, they had been a large presence on the UK music scene, but remained only semi-successful in their home country of America, unable to compete with sellout artists such as Coldplay, Radiohead and U2. After the release of “Only by the Night” and even with the release of the albums first single “Sex on Fire” the Kings found themselves getting more and more airtime. When the album did finally come out, it smashed its way onto the popular music scene. With hits like “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire”, the boys found themselves growing a larger and larger fan base and being able to headline arenas for the first time in America.

One reason for the blatant success of “Only by the Night” is the evident maturing of the band musically. The sound which began with “Youth and Young Manhood” has drastically matured. “Only by the Night” finds the Kings leading us into new sonic territory, opening with “Closer” a song in which the band introduces us to their new sound and ending with the hauntingly beautiful “Cold Desert” where we find lead singer and rhythm guitarist Caleb Followill singing in the shoes of someone who is at the end of their rope. The album is more complete then anything else we have heard from the Kings. In between, songs like the smashingly successful “Use Somebody”, “Sex on Fire” and “Notion” focus in on the unique and matured voice of front man Caleb Followill. In addition the musical components of the album are much more developed then previous works. Specifically the abilities of lead guitarist Matthew Followill and bassist Jared Followill have drastically improved. Each lends a unique and potent sound to the band; Jared’s ascending and descending bass lines give songs like “Cold Desert”, “Revelry”, and “Be Somebody” structure and fluidness. While Matthew’s new and improved sound adds fullness and texture to the songs.

A few people seem to be criticizing the new album, saying that "Kings of Leon sold out on "Only by the Night."

To say that a band has sold out because their sound has developed is ignorant. Kings of Leon's sound is different and some may say "more polished down" but that is because like any other band they have evolved and matured musically. For example the newest Coldplay album "Viva La Vida" was drastically different then previous works. This is simply because Coldplay, like Kings of Leon has matured and developed musically. Not only is "Only by the Night" the best that we have seen thus far from Kings of Leon, it is up there as one of the best albums of the year. The album is fluid and catchy and I found myself unable to turn it off. in my opinion "Only by the Night" is a masterpiece of modern music. Nowadays when there is so much bad, and uncreative music, it is refreshing to hear something like "Only by the Night". Which sports originality, creativity and an obvious passion for the music.

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