I’m going out on a limb here, and am well prepared for the legions of detractors, but I view anything Kings of Leon do these days as relatively cheesy. Not quite vom inducing, but a little bit tiresome and self-aggrandizing. Maybe it was the ludicrously corny video they made for ‘Radioactive,’ the lackadaisical live performances (see Jool’s Holland circa 2013) but this hardly feels like the same band that finally broke into the mainstream with an absolutely barnstorming sophomore album Aha Shake Heartbreak.
As the energy seemed to wane out of their follow up albums, I was hoping Mechanical Bull would be the reinvigorated, reenergized, shake your ass return to form. I’ll tell you now it isn’t. It’s not that I don’t like the sonic direction Kings of Leon have gone, it’s certainly unique, but as track after track is awash with tinny reverbed up guitars the album descends into a barely different series of songs that as an album present itself as commercial mediocrity.
The lead single ‘Supersoaker’ has all the hallmarks of a traditional pop hit that teenage girls are absolutely going to love. While tracks like ‘Comeback story,’ as it ascends into an ending with wide string accompaniment, are safe enough to play to your elderly Grandma or use as lift music. There are glimmers of the ballsy rockers of yester year. 'Don't Matter' is a great example of a straight up rock out. Just check out their faces in the live vid below and you see they genuinely seem to enjoy playing that rougher style. Overall I don’t think I’m being particularly harsh. This is a safe commercial album and a lot of people are going to love it. I just hope next time Kings of Leon decide to take a step out of the mainstream.
Wait For Me
Coming Back Again
On the Chine