"Youth & Young Manhood"
This is a stellar album. Southern flavour meets the Rolling Stones format, making for one of my favourite albums, not just of recent times, but of all time. I love the raw energy that's created by the gritty vocals of Caleb Followhill, who's slurred singing is complimented by the bare-sounding guitars that riff and boogie behind him. It's also what he's singing about that I love too: dusty southern settings, hookers, liquor, backdoor men. These songs are set in a world foreign to me, but one i find compelling and worth singing about.
The Kings of Leon get compared to bands like ZZ top, who they resemble on some of their more guitar-boogie numbers. But this band, I believe, is unique. They, like many other great artists, draw their influences from a multitude of precedents, yet manage to form their own sound.
This is music that makes you want to drink Jack Daniels, drive a beat-up truck, smoke cigarettes. Any time the music makes me want to be like the guys who are making it, I know it's good.
Track listing (ewan comments in parentheses):
1. Red Morning Light (Great hard charging opener. Fantastic in setting the musical and thematic tone of the album)
2. Happy Alone (Love the way he sings "High Heels" and "Cherry Lipstick")
3. Wasted Time (nice boogie, great slurred vocals)
4. Joe's Head (favourite track, love the lyrics "this is just the way of the world joe said, had to put a bullet into his head", just conjures up a whole story beautifully)
5. Trani (nice change of pace, love the screamed vocals at the end)
6. California Waiting (straight forward but good tune)
7. Spiral Staircase (dirty and rollicking = good!)
8. Molly's Chamber (one of their best, great chorus)
9. Genius (another straight forward track)
10. Dusty (slows it down again, surprisingly sweet)
11. Holy Roller Novocaine (excellent closer, great chorus, drives album hard)
"On our knees we'll feast on a sex show" - Kings of Leon