Kings Of Leon: Only By The Night
Release Date: September 23, 2008
Every once in a blue moon, an album gets under my skin so bad that it engulfs my bloodstream. I want to breathe it. I want to drink it. I want to fuck its brains out, while it plays in the background. Twice.
I guess a great album is kind of like a good romance, it falls in your lap when you aren’t searching for it. This rings exceptionally true with southern rock boys, Kings of Leon, and their fourth full-length release, Only By The Night.
Truthfully, I despised the first (and in turn, the last) thing I heard from Kings of Leon, that damn “Molly’s Chambers” hullabaloo circa 2003. I hated it so much that I didn’t give the rest of their catalog a chance, so naturally I wanted to kick myself when I found myself nodding to their newest single, “Sex On Fire” every time I heard it on the radio. It grabbed me by the jugular and made me want to believe what vocalist Caleb Followill was crooning, something eerily similar to the Bono effect. His voice haunted me, and when the album appeared in a care package from a friend, I considered it fate. I popped in Only By The Night for the ride home, and the first track, “Closer,” had me instantly at hello. How could it not, with lyrical content pertaining to the life of a vampire! Sex-ay.
Sonically it’s Stones meets Afghan Wigs with a dash of Zeppelin, showcasing equal parts melodic and forceful — but never contrived. Only By The Night floats its listener through a space-rock odyssey, reminiscent of a good high without the edgy comedown. My favorite track, Revelry, tugs at the heartstrings, encasing so much painstaking emotion that it resonates like a bad dream. Lyrics such as “I get lost in the light/So high don’t wanna come down/ To face the loss of the good thing that I have found” hint at both addiction and the loss of a love, both two topics that seem more familiar to the masses these days than they do foreign.
A velvety smooth album from start to finish highlighted with fuzzy guitars and rich vocals, I just want to reminisce on good (and bad) times past with a bottle of wine and a pack of smokes while basking in the light of revelry.