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Only by the Night

Studio Album by released in 2008

Only by the Night review

The breakthrough indie-rockers

The band Kings Of Leon was formed in 2000, by three brothers - Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followills along with their cousin Matthew on the rise of interest to the indie rock music. The sons of the traveling preacher, Caleb, Jared and Nathan moved around the USA with their father for a long time. They got their education in small religious schools or were taught by their mother when they could not attend the school. Nathan and Caleb strived for becoming musicians in their early years - especially taking in consideration that they were used to the traveling tour life. However, later the brothers decided to unite their aspirations and form a band - they invited Jared and Matthew to join them. They called the band in honor of their father and grandfather (both called Leon), and switched from country to rock. The original raw sound and the mix of Southern, alternative and garage rock with the memorable tunes immediately made them the favorites of the public. Ironically, firstly the artists were more popular in Europe in the eve of their career than in their native US. After the tours with such stars as U2 and The Strokes, Kings Of Leon strengthened their position on the world scene. Such prolific rock musicians as Noel Gallagher from Oasis and Ed O'Brien of Radiohead call themselves their fans. This year, the artists decided to conquer their Motherland, the USA, and released the fourth studio attempt Only By The Night, turning to their Southern roots once more.

Only By The Night: the orientation for mainstream

From the first chords of the album, it becomes obvious that Kings Of Leon decided to make their music more mainstream with the help of the professional sound. The songs sound smoother, while the element of the garage rock is diminished to the minimum. Nevertheless, even in such variant Kings Of Leon sound unique. The album is opened with the track Closer, which is filled with the despair and mourn, and is written, citing Caleb Followill, about "a lovesick vampire". The pulsating track Crawl with the excellent drum play and the weeping guitar is devoted to the topic of all kinds of relationships, while the following hit single Sex On Fire explores the theme of sex. No more sex-oriented tracks can be found on this record, as the rockers wisely considered that it is enough to sing about it once. The emotional and gripping with sadness melody Use Somebody tells about the loneliness in the road and being homesick. The next composition is really strong in both the musical and lyrical plans and is titled Manhattan. Partly it goes about enjoying life and partly about the current problems of the Native Americans. In such and elegant and impressing way the musicians of Kings Of Leon pay their debt to the Indian roots they have. In the powerful and aggressive guitar track Notion, the soloist of Kings Of Leon fiercely attacks those, who have something against the band and its creativity. The disc is crowned with the ballad Cold Desert. Its lyrical character finds the strength not to surrender in the very last moment and acquires the will for struggling with the doom.

Kings Of Leon are better with every release

In the interviews, devoted to the release of Only By The Night, the artists promised to "rock harder" on their new disc and demonstrate the wider range of their musical influences. Kings Of Leon did not deceive the listeners, their music became more straightforward and energetic, while the arrangements and melodic decisions became more varied. It is hard to oversee that during these years, the musicians took the best qualities from the famous rock bands they toured along the USA and Europe. However, they managed not to loose their grip, continuing to play recognizable and original music. Although it is worth mentioning, that the polished sound is an unexpected element of the album, but only in the beginning. Any artist strives to make every disc better than its predecessor was, tried to overdo it in the musical and lyrical plans. However, this trick is available only for a small number of truly talented singers and bands. Kings Of Leon can be called one of such commands without hesitation. Their progress and uniqueness are more and more evident with each long-play. When they released Because Of The Times, the work was unanimously considered their best achievement and the brightest proof of their international star rock band. However, after the release of Only By The Night, the listeners got a great chance to reconsider their opinion in its favor as Kings Of Leon overdid themselves again with the record.

Ninelle Kazakoff (17.09.2008)
Rate review4.82
Total votes - 2803