441. Kings of Leon – “Aha Shake Heartbreak”

As second albums go, this one sits at the rare intersection of Not Disappointing Street and Failing To Capture Me Somehow Boulevard.

The problem I have with Southern rock is that it needs to be very very good to keep me interested.  There are far too many bands out there who can lay down slight sloppy, country tinged, stadium-ready rocky.

There is a tough balancing act on the ‘bad-boy’ front too, with any combo of black-hat-wearing Country-music or Jimmy Morrison-homage likely to turn me off.

On their debut the Kings hit the mark far more than most such bands do even in a career. It was gonna be hard to meet my expectations here. At times they do.  I love the rambling mid-album combo of Milk and Soft as Caleb’s vocals get even more garbled and self-mocking (I hope it’s self-mocking!) than usual. The Bucket plays to their emerging stadium strengths quite well, but much of the album seems a little desperate and deliberately ‘dangerous’:

My understanding is that these guys exploded into huge fan favourites on the back of their third album, and that they have managed to achieve a female fan-base considerably larger than similarly sounding acts.

I abandoned them before than, however, feeling I’d had a satisfactory fill of their work, and that it was heading in a manufactured rock direction that didn’t appeal.

File under: Not a Norwegian Billy Cyrus cover band

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