ALBUM: Kings Of Leon ‘Walls’


Walls is the seventh studio album from everyone’s favourite sons of preachers, Kings Of Leon, and whilst it’s not as urgent or manic as their earlier recordings, the more time we spend lamenting this the less time we have to credit Walls for being an easy, upbeat listen.

Like most bands who go from their back yards to filling stadiums, the Followills have been criticised for making commercial, unauthentic music in the latter half of their career. Whilst we can’t deny that 2008’s ‘Sex On Fire’ is a highly accessible mainstream example of this, we also can’t deny that it’s catchy as hell – so we’re approaching Walls with a similar outlook.

Opener ‘Waste A Moment’ and following single ‘Reverend’ gently kick things off and are going to be crowd pleasers when played live, but it’s third track ‘Around The World’ that deserves more attention. It feels like it could soundtrack both a stadium show and a back-yard BBQ, with its jangly guitar and funkier bass line.

‘Find Me’ is a tad repetitive and therefore never really finds its feet, and the same can be said for ‘Over’. Whilst the beginning hints at a track that could embody the haunting quality of older songs like ‘Knocked Up’ and ‘Closer’, it unfortunately falls in to the category of “nice but skippable”. The same can be applied to tracks ‘Conversation Piece’ and ‘Wild’; both fail to live up to their names and to achieve the task of keeping the momentum going mid-way through the album. Fortunately, ‘Eyes On You’ picks things up again, but only briefly. Closing track ‘Walls’ is a highlight though, and its smoothness fosters feelings of contentment and peace.

It would be easy to condemn Walls for its lack of back-yard belters like 2009’s ‘Charmer’, but the album has reached Number 1 in the UK charts, so clearly there’s still a lot of love out there for the Followills – and it’s not entirely blind. Caleb’s voice is still as easy on the ear as it was in his Youth and Young Manhood days, and is always the standout element of every track. Whether you preferred him with his pixie-locks or whether you like his rough-but-righteous look now; his vocals are what draw listeners in time and time again.

There’s nothing drastically wrong with the new musical Walls Kings Of Leon have built, but wouldn’t it be great if they tore them down in ‘Four Kicks’-style for their next album, and released something that really smashed the living daylights out of your whisky loving, ‘Day Old Blues’ beating brain again?

Walls is out now via RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

Kate Crudgington

Kate Crudgington

Kate Crudgington

Assistant Editor for Gigslutz (2015-2017) Now Co-Founder, Co-Host & Features Editor for @getinherears