Review: Kings Of Leon - WALLS ‘Back to basics and all the better for it’

Kings Of Leon - WALLS

Review

walls

7.5/10

Kings Of Leon seemingly go back to basics on their seventh LP WALLS, A much more coherent and shorter record than their previous albums and it’s all the better for it.


Kings Of Leon have returned after 3 years with their seventh album WALLS (short for We Are Like Love Songs), It’s a much calmer and more polished sounding record which ends up being a lot more defined than their previous efforts, it’s a solid album and It's as much of a departure as you can get from their brilliant last album 'Mechanical Bull' however.

Where as ‘Mechanical Bull’ had a very loud, gritty and garage sound to it, 'WALLS' takes a complete left turn and ends up being more polished and upbeat, whilst the guitars sound more restrained with Caleb’s voice taking more of a forefront on each song, this is most noticeable on the title track of the record and a few songs on the second half, It all kicks off however with their fantastic first single “Waste A Moment” (soundingly eerily similar to last record’s ‘Supersoaker’) The verses build up to a chorus which will have you shouting along “take a time to waste a moment” or joining with the “Wooooah’s” it’s definitely the standout stadium song of the album.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmAaWCFlxEE&w=560&h=315]

It’s followed by the aggressive rhythm of “Reverend” which leads into both a catchy yet emotional chorus, Caleb’s pitch changes throughout as at point’s in the song it even sounds like his pleading to the listener especially when it reaches that final ‘Radi-oh!’ , it’s intense but in the best way possible, “Around The World” however is a completely different style entirely, it’s lively, it’s upbeat and about as summery as Kings Of Leon have ever sounded, the guitars kick in instantly with a catchy rhythm which is bound have you either dancing or tapping along, It’s the closest thing to pop they’ve released and it’s surprisingly very good.

“Find Me” is powerful, aggressive and frantic with chords which will rip through your brain, you’ll be left roaring along, It really Is a beast of a song but unfortunately the rest of the album is a much calmer affair and the song brings a close to the strongest set of tracks on the album, “Over” is ironically way too long at just over 6 minutes and is unfortunately quite forgettable, becoming more repetitive than enjoyable. “Muchacho” is a completely different song to anything I’ve heard from Kings Of Leon, it’s retro and has a very old time western feel to it, it’s infectious especially the whistling and of is the best of the album’s slower second half.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlUqgaddAWc&w=560&h=315]

“Conversation Piece” for me is the strongest lyrically on the album, speaking of a desire to return to California and just wanting to be there for somebody, maybe because I can relate to the lyrics is why It affects me so much, but I find if you can find the meaning and relate with a song then it shows how well written and how much emotion must have gone into it. “Eyes on You” and “Wild” feel both like generic KOL and very much like filler, which Is a real shame, the second half of the album definitely has a more sluggish feel and the record overall suffers as a result.

The album closes on a sombre note with the very stripped back ballad and title track “WALLS”, it’s a solid effort but feels very out of place, whereas the album starts with a bang, it unfortunately ends with more of a whimper.

Overall it’s a very solid album with a few standout tracks, unlike the branding however it doesn’t feel like the big overhaul teased by the band and only time will tell if it will become a memorable piece of the Kings Of Leon discography, if your a fan it’s a definite buy, however if your not then it isn’t going to change your mind anytime soon. A good album but it’s just too forgettable to be classed as a truly great one.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdF41Ne2cnQ&w=560&h=315]