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The seventh studio album US rockers Kings Of Leon WALLS is hardly going to change your world, but it’s refreshing to see the band really trying to break the monotony of their past few albums and step out with something that’s consciously a different kind of record. WALLS apparently stands for ‘We Are Like Love Songs,’ for reasons which may be only truly known to Kings Of Leon themselves.
Despite Waste A Moment being a less-than-inspiring start, the Kings do break out some unexpected and exciting musical stylings later in the album – so if you’re stuck on the first single don’t stop there. Where it really stars to get interesting is the third track in, Around The World, which kicks off with a ripper bass riff that just drips in funk. The rest of the track takes you on an aural journey through chorus harmonies, a lick-heavy guitar solo and some super echoey strat – and all of a sudden there’s a distinct hope that the rest of the album will be filled with a few more gems as well.
Muchacho takes Kings Of Leon in a pretty weird direction, musically, by their usual standards, as they co-opt some Latin percussion and situate it behind a largely acoustic guitar. It’s an absolute credit to the band that they even attempted a song like this on their seventh album and shows that even if we’re not listening as closely as we were, way back when, Kings Of Leon are still striving to do something to make us sit up and take notice.
Lead singer Caleb Followill shows off his still-impressive vocal range in parts, with Conversation Piece a clear highlight when it comes to his falsetto, falsetto which could’ve definitely gotten more of a work out on other tracks too.
Undoubtedly there will be some who have stayed with Kings Of Leon all the way since their peak, and for anyone who is looking for an old-school, driving Kings track – Find Me is probably the track most similar to Sex On Fire on the record.
Although WALLS isn’t the album to send Kings Of Leon back to their chart-topping ways of old, it’s undoubtedly their best album in quite some time. On this record more than many others, the familiarity of past songs doesn’t strike up as often as you’d expect, and the result is that when you hear that patented Kings Of Leon chorus and guitar riff, it’s a welcome addition.