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Return of the Kings The Tennessee boys are back with their fifth studio album, Come Around Sundown


Friday October 15 - Thursday October 28 2010

Rex Features

Let Him Entertain You

Caleb Followill rocking out at a 2009 gig

Rex Features

AFTER the award winning Only By The Night made this small town American band a worldwide phenomenon, all hopes were on the follow up album. However, any anticipation is short lived as Kings of Leon’s fifth studio album Come Around Sundown proves itself to be nothing but ordinary for a band that started out with a gritty and original sound. Opening song The End is slow and dramatic with Caleb Followill’s instantly recognisable voice transporting you back to the time you first heard the band and they grabbed your attention. Unlike the wailing heard on previous singles like Sex On Fire, his voice is raw and stripped down,

revealing a vulnerability that makes The End a rather odd choice for an opening track. It’s a good song but an opening track should create maximum impact, not fill you with doubt over the rest of the album. Latest single Radioactive follows and begins to put your mind at ease that Kings of Leon might not be striving too hard to surpass Only By The Night. In every way it does appear to be stronger. The guitars have stepped up a gear and are at the forefront creating a new dimension to their sound. The use of a backing choir has resulted in a sound that will no doubt gain them mainstream success but one tolerable song out

of 13 is not enough to salvage this album. From this point it all starts to go dramatically downhill. The remaining songs are polished to a point where they are nothing but bland. Despite returning to their southern roots, Come Around Sundown sounds like Kings Of Leon giving up. Not even the rockier, more upbeat No Money can rescue this album from an inevitable critical panning. The public’s lust for pop rock will assure them success but fans of their early work will be disappointed. Simply, they have lost their unique edge and replaced it with a by-the-numbers indie sound that is soft, unimaginative and above

everything else disappointing. You’ll find plenty of stories about the Followill’s diva-like attitude online. With such an obvious dip in quality from their 2007 behemoth Because of the Times, it’s hard not to think it has all gone to their heads. Whether fame and fortune has inflated their egos or not, no one can deny that this simply isn’t the same band we fell in love with all those years ago. Amiee Davis

CHIDDY Bang gives us a tantalising taste of what is to come with The Preview, the prelude to their 2011 album The Swelly Life. The Philadelphia duo burst on the scene earlier this year with their hit Opposite Of Adults, and The Preview provides more of the same - fresh, likeable material that will have you counting the days until The Swelly Life hits the shelves. MC Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and DJ Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin have produced a genre-defying prelude to their upcoming album, with their unique blend of indie-electro backing Chiddy’s exquisite, confidence-oozing rapping and

lyrical mastery. The pair are only 19 but display musical maturity beyond their years. Xaphoon Jones’s remixing skills are largely epitomised in Opposite Of Adults, where he has managed to make MGMT’s Kids

even catchier than the original. This isn’t the only track where Chiddy Bang has sampled an established indie hit. Truth, a vibrant number that will have you subconsciously tapping your foot within seconds is the duo’s very own rendition of Better Things by Passion Pit. Like Opposite Of Adults, Truth is arguably an improvement on the original, boosted immeasurably by Chiddy’s fluid delivery and Xaphoon Jones’ exhilarating re-mastering. Chiddy’s intelligent and fluid rhymes are consistently impressive; with the epitome of his rapping prowess presented in the track Here We Go, featuring Q Tip, which

is undoubtedly one of the album’s finest efforts. The single complaint regarding the album is its length. Nine tracks is generous for what is only a preview so the complaint is half born out of desperately wanting to hear more and that’s high praise, especially of such a new band. As a teasing taste of what is to come from this young, hungry duo, this electrifying EP serves its purpose perfectly. Tony Mogan

4/10 Come Around Sundown is released on October 18

A Preview of Success


The Preview is out now

MULTI-MILLION selling artist Robbie Williams is taking you back to the 90s with his latest collection of greatest hits. In and Out of Consciousness will also feature the new single which sees Robbie and Gary Barlow reunited for the first time since 1995. Everyone knows that Robbie can whip out a love ballard or cheesy pop tune and the single, Shame is definitely the latter. Co-written with Gary, Shame tells a tale of the not so private spat between the two and the recent make up which will culminate with Take That’s new album. The rest of this album consists of some of Robbie’s biggest songs from the past 20 years taking you on a trip down memory lane with some of the classic songs we all grew up with. Robbie and Gary open the packed double CD with Shame and the album comes full circle ending with Everything Changes (with Take That). Thrown in the middle are some classic songs like Rock DJ, She’s the One, Millennium and Angels. The set starts in the present day and works back to the begining meaning that the really great songs all lie on disc two. Unfortunately this means that most of the first disc is his newer material which frankly isn’t nearly as good and tends to be more cringe then classic. You may not run straight out and buy In and Out of Consciousness but keep it in mind for your mum’s birthday or Christmas present. That way you can have a sneaky listen without publically admitting you actually quite like Robbie Williams. Sophie Norton

7/10 In and Out of Consciousness is out now

Page 21 - Kings of Leon review  

Review of Kings of Leon written personally.