Kings Of Leon have really fallen off of their throne. They always had that alternative rock meets country vibe that really had a sweet sound on the radio, but it seems that it's not working for them anymore. Their seventh album Walls is not a good sign.
For what it's worth, the album does have the Kings Of Leon charm. There's a lot of twangy guitars that give their alternative rock label a country tinge, especially evident in 'Around The World'. The beginning half of the album is mostly tolerable and a generally enjoyable listen, with the indie rock track 'Waste A Moment' opening the record in a standard way - nothing special, but nothing to scoff at, really. The same sound is continued in 'Reverend', which really has nothing else to offer besides its upbeat vibe.
That's about all the praise the album can get: an okay start. It all falls apart after 'Over', the six minute track with a cool bass tone that leads nowhere. The issue with this album is that it really has no meat to it. There's no punch and no grit that can make any song grab you in the core of it. All momentum is lost in 'Muchacho', a weird song that tries to be overly dramatic while having a weak instrumental and weak lyrics. This theme continues throughout the rest of the record, 'Conversation Piece' and 'Eyes On You' offering up nothing new or exciting as they follow. 'Wild' makes it even worse, in fact. The album's closer track is single 'WALLS', which we reviewed upon its release (check that out here). The song is still as aimless as it was as a standalone, not progressing in its five minutes and burning out at the end of an album that's already struggling to stay alight.
The only redeemable track on the entire record is 'Find Me'. It's the only song that has a real sense of conviction and direction. It's laced with sweet guitar lines and punctuated chords that build tremendously to a feel good ending. The guitar work is pretty solid on the track, especially evident in the choruses, the nice moments offered up amongst the great melodies and sweet atmosphere. Why the rest of the album couldn't sound like this is beyond me - this is the sound that works; not the half-assed minimal rock tracks that try to sound deep.
Kings Of Leon are losing their steam. Their past efforts were both with largely negative appraisal, and it seems that Walls will be no different. With very few redeemable moments, it's hard to give this album any credit. They tried, but their efforts don't seem to have been enough to satisfy what the band and their fans were needing.
Favorite Track: Find Me
Least Favorite Tracks: Muchacho, Conversation Piece, Walls
Rating: 54 / 100