Ella Kemp tells us how to listen to Kings of Leon’s new hit album, Walls…
A humble ten songs is all Kings of Leon need to return into the spotlight. WALLS (We Are Like Love Songs) complies with the band’s 5-syllable reinvention in a sweet and infectious record. With tones of a Monkeys’ Suck It and See and a Strokes Machu Picchu, KOL have fun on a playful album. Gone is the angst of Only the Night and the teenage soul-searching of Come Around Sundown while a jolly bass ticks the sound over until next time. It won’t change the world, but it’ll make its soundtrack sweeter if only for a little while. Here’s how to listen to the key tracks of WALLS…
Around the World
With a title so engraved in mainstream media, Around the World instantly faces the task of standing out next to its predecessors. With a catchy bass line and unpretentious, upbeat melodies, it steps up to the plate in providing one of the most enjoyable songs of the album. It’s with this track that the boys have fun – see it on the advert for the World Cup, on a teaser for Comic Relief or a trailer for an optimistic teen comedy. Listen to Around the World in your prime, when you own that world.
Truly marking the stamp of age and providing the poster boy track for the album, the one you’d expect from seven-album-deep Kings of Leon. It is a heartfelt cry, the one that you keep on loop as the “western girl with eastern eyes” as sung to you emotionally by Caleb. Simple piano and acoustic guitar sway your listening to late night solitude – made somewhat more enjoyable now with WALLS.
Although it starts with elevator music which wears a Fight Club scent, Caleb’s vocals and rich lyrics soon bring Muchacho to the higher ranks of the album. If you’re one of the few that enjoyed Come Around Sundown and its suitably southern twang, Muchacho offers the perfect follow up with an unsurprisingly low-key waltz-into-the-sunset inspired track, best accompanied with a whisky on the rocks – or a rum & coke with a little umbrella should do the trick. Enjoy the cha cha cha percussions and piercing close-metallic guitar which slides next to the moody vocals. Seriously enjoyable to lock eyes with that stranger across the bar. Spoons will have never seemed so exotic.
Waste A Moment
The first bars that we heard from WALLS, Waste a Moment showed us that they were back and they were back with a bang. Setting the record straight for the tone of the album, it has enough bite into it to be remembered in the history books, while appealing enough to fans new and old for a workout, a meal-prep, meet-cute or dance off – Waste A Moment has got you covered for pretty any pep talk you will need, ever.
The opening twang of Reverend feels like an homage to a more mature Piledriver Waltz with a recognisable indulgence from Kings who are having fun. It sits between the angst and the ingenuity of later tracks, providing a perfect set-up for the subtleties and different possibilities in tracks to come on the album. It counterparts Waste A Moment in its more conventional satisfying melodies, as Reverend surprises and is best listened to when kicking off any night- the ideal starting point for any possible outcome…
Follow Ella on Twitter: @Ella_Kemp