Kings Of Leon – When You See Yourself (2021)

Band – Kings Of Leon

Line Up –

Caleb Followill (Vocals/Guitar)

Jared Followill (Bass/Keyboards)

Matthew Followill (Guitar/Keyboards)

Nathan Followill (Drums)

Release Date – March 5th 2021

Producer – Markus Dravs

Label – RCA

The eighth album in the career of the Followill brothers (and cousin) is the follow up to 2016’s Walls and comes after the release of four very strong singles to start the year.

Anyone expecting a return to the raucous garage rock of their debut or big anthemic anthems such as ‘Sex On Fire’ may end up disappointed. What we do get is a set of atmospheric, slow burning, brilliantly produced songs that may not blow you away on first listen but given a bit of time unlock the magic they possess.

Take mid-album track ‘The Wave’ for example. When I first heard it I thought it was a decent but unremarkable track. With further listens, alongside the more immediate ‘Echoing’, it’s the best song on the album.

The whole thing is held together by the bands’ secret weapon – the bass playing of Jared Followill. He is the unheralded key player in this group and has been across all their records. His propulsive basslines are the driving force on which the layers of guitars and keyboards sit atop, never showy but always memorable.

Caleb Followill is in good voice, the more relaxed and restrained feel allows for the melodic aspects of his vocals to shine. He still isn’t the most interesting lyrically though, with some examples of rhyming couplets just because they do (device/ice for example).

One thing this record does, which the band are in the habit of doing, is front loading the album with it’s strongest songs. Apart from the aforementioned ‘Echoing’, the second half does drop off in terms of quality. The first six tracks are so strong though that on the whole you can chalk it up as a success.

Overall, this is a really strong listen, one that rewards patience and will be something that I continue to spin as the year progresses. Worth your time, just be prepared for a more chilled out experience than a festival ready crowd pleaser.

Track Listing

1. When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away – 8/10

2. The Bandit – 8.5/10

3. 100,000 People – 9/10

4. Stormy Weather – 8/10

5. A Wave – 9/10

6. Golden Restless Age – 8.5/10

7. Time In Disguise – 7.5/10

8. Supermarket – 6/10

9. Claire & Eddie – 5.5/10

10. Echoing – 9/10

11. Fairytale – 6/10

Overall – 8/10

Spotify link –

https://open.spotify.com/album/5mi6IbVDNVKpOO702ejPn6?si=y3q8ayOpR6SxZU2tYZdtwA

Apple Music link –

https://music.apple.com/gb/album/when-you-see-yourself/1547474568

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