by Haley Cullingham
The new Kings of Leon CD begins like a dark opener to some tragic eighties love story. At the end of a misty street under a streetlamp, a boy (lets call him “John Cusack”) and a girl (“Molly Ringwald”) share a doomed kiss outside a mint-coloured convertible, taffeta on plaid, as the opening credits play across the screen in off-white. The vibe is decidely haunted and melancholic, except occasionally when the boys from Tennessee turn briefly into a trucker version of The Secret Machines. This CD is derivative of most of the things you’ve liked about the last 20 years. The family Followill (including a guitar tech named ‘Nacho’) have crafted an album that comes from a very familiar place. Open roads, skies on fire, dirty hotel rooms. Love is sad and the people are beautiful, and everything you want is far away, but not for long. The Kings of Leon feel so nostalgically AMERICAN, like every song they write is a love letter to a time when things felt more tangible. Romanticizing being in love in a small town where the stores close at seven and people drink beer on fences in silhouette while the sun goes down. This CD makes me forget that leaves are falling outside my windows, and convinces me that summer will last forever. Nacho, take me away.