Two weeks ago, my buddy called me to tell me that the advanced copy he had of WALLS was all he was listening to and that it is in the running for best album of the year. I have never been a huge fan of the band, but I loved their Only By Night album a lot. But, I trust his opinion and when WALLS was released this week I sat down and gave it a listen.
The band has released an amazing rock album that could very well be one the best this year. The Kings of Leon have played around with various styles of rock throughout their career. They have influences in southern rock, garage rock, and stadium rock. I believe all those styles mixed together to create WALLS as it has that southern rock sound at its core but is also pure stadium anthem rock at its best.
After years of being on the fence, I am now sold on the band as this album may go down as their masterpiece. For me, it is the best album the Kings of Leon have ever released.
Album of the Week
Waste a Moment opens the album and you instantly get the feeling of that Only By Night sound, but better. I know this will be a song that becomes a must-hear at their live shows as it has the word “anthem” written all over it. Right off the bat, you know the Kings Of Leon have something special here.
On Reverend, the emotion in Caleb Followill’s voice and the great guitar riff make for a perfect duo on this track. This is one of those songs that shows what great musicians the band are. I am also starting to feel like they made this album with their live shows in mind as On Reverend is another song that is going to translate well.
Around the World starts off with a funky, Latin-tinged guitar beat. I think this is the closest the album comes to a pop rock sound as this one can cross genres and get people dancing and singing along. I would call Around the World their “Maroon 5 song” due to that
By the time you get to Over, the sound changes dramatically. The opening guitar sounds very much like the opening to a Cure song,and this heartbreaker of a song is one of my favorites on the album. After hearing Over, you will know that the band wrote these songs to be at their best in an arena. These are U2-style rockers and ballads.
WALLS closes the album on a depressing note. Followill seems to be writing some songs about losing the love of your life. A curious way to close out an album with such a tender ballad, but it works. I love this song and think it’s the best on the album. Just Followill, his guitar, and some piano. The emotion in his voice and the softness of the guitar strings make WALLS a song that should stand the test of time and become a classic.
Standout Tracks: WALLS, Waste a Moment
The Playlist: October 18, 2016
This summer, the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers quietly released their first new album in five years. My buddy scored tickets to their show early next year, so I figured now would be a good time to hear some of their new songs. Dark Necessities is a great track that continues the band’s mature sound. It’s still the funk we know and love but it’s got that softness that has become their new normal.
Phil Collins released a collection of singles this week, and In The Air Tonight is one of his best. You know as well as I do that when the drum hits before the chorus, you will “air drum” it the way Mike Tyson does in The Hangover.
As a music fan, one of my favorite discoveries is when I find a kickass all-girl rock band. The Beaches have the attitude of the Runaways and that modern coolness of Haim going for them. Their guitar riffs are awesome and Give It Up should be climbing the modern rock charts soon. Keep an eye out for these gals!
Dorothy’s scorching vocals hooked me instantly. The brashness of her voice along with her band’s bluesy rock sound make a perfect combination. Raise Hell will kick you in the teeth with its nastiness. I am digging this song big time and it’s my pick of the week.
If you are a fan of The Gaslight Anthem and have been looking for something to hold you over while they are on hiatus, check out The Menzingers. They have a Gaslight-style of rock and emotion in their sound. That romantic styling is on full display here, and I am hooked on Lookers. Overall, I’m definitely looking forward to checking them out live sometime soon.