After remaining relatively quiet for a few years, Kings of Leon have finally made their return with their long awaited sixth album, Mechanical Bull. I have to admit that although at first I placed the album into the ‘easy listening’ category and thought it was even a tad plain by the usual standards of Kings of Leon, after a few listens I’ve found myself guilty of singing their lyrics yet again.
Mechanical Bull is not like their first few albums and perhaps that is the reason why I initially disregarded it as not being anything special; it was enjoyable, but I just think that I was hoping for a return to that raw cowboy rock and roll they’d originally given us in Youth & Young Manhood as opposed to the more gentle records of Come Around Sundown. However, this album is another masterpiece of its own accord and should be taken as exactly that rather than a comparison to their old records. The band’s sound may have changed somewhat over the years but this album still has the recognisable slur of Caleb’s voice and the lyrical genius of the Followill family; the brilliance of this album could only ever be attributed to Kings of Leon.
I’m not entirely sure if I’m preconditioned to love all of their albums seeing as they were one of my first big gigs and I was totally blown away, but this band has something definitively unique about them and Mechanical Bull is another example of their talent as a group. I can quite easily imagine their audience enjoying a live performance of Mechanical Bull as much as any of their other albums and there are definitely a couple of potential anthems hidden within.
Their two singles, Supersoaker and Wait for Me were enough to demand attention but it’s the cheeky lyrics and sound of Rock City (though I’m probably biased as a Nottingham student to be attracted to this song) and the softer and slower paced Beautiful War that have really sealed it for me. Not to mention Don’t Matter has got the potential to induce any crowd into some kind of mosh pit formation. For the most part the album is relatively slow but it somehow demands you to withhold from denouncing it as merely background music; it just doesn’t get boring.
Yes, I suppose as they’ve got bigger perhaps there’s more jumping through hoops for commercial success, and maybe that’s the reason the rawer sound of the first albums appears very rarely nowadays, but I’m still enjoying the music they are creating and this album is a worthy addition to your collection.
By Ella Watson