Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomeEntertainmentKings of Leon Ease Into a New Beginning on 'Can We Please...

Kings of Leon Ease Into a New Beginning on ‘Can We Please Have Fun’


A few songs into Kings of Leon’s new album, frontman Caleb Followill asks something uncomfortable: “Are we still having fun?” The answer: yes, but maybe in a way you wouldn’t expect. Over two decades after the Tennessee rockers released their excellent debut Youth & Young Manhood, Kings of Leons’ ninth studio LP serves as a fresh start for the band. It’s the sound of veteran musicians searching for an answer as they underpin their characteristic gritty Southern arena-size garage-rock with surprisingly sleek-and-polished grooves. Following the band’s introspective 2021 LP When You See Yourself, the band has enlisted the help of Grammy-winning producer Kid Harpoon, who’s perhaps best known for his recent work on Harry Styles’ Harry’s House and Maggie Rogers’ acclaimed 2022 sophomore release Surrender.

Recorded in Nashville, Can We Please Have Fun eases into the good times with some unexpected sonic twists. Album opener “Ballerina Radio” twirls in glistening synths as Followill croons “I’m a masochist, I know,” pulsing with Britpop-ish energy and the sound of windchimes in the distance. The band dances straight into Joy Division territory on “Rainbow Ball,” with a propulsive bassline undulating behind Followill’s casual phrasing: “Get some/Tough love/Sweetheart, it’s just bad luck.”

“Nowhere to Run” breaks into a carefree, grooving bop, with a funk bass line dancing beneath poignant lyrics like “I state my case and hope for grace/Take my place/There’s a war outside/We should all get high and give a kiss goodbye.” The next track is the rollicking lead single “Mustang,” a fun, fast, stone-cold Kings of Leon classic complete with a shoutout to the band’s old stomping grounds in Nashville. The Kings also find time to let loose and kick the party into high gear on “Hesitation Generation,” a rowdy rock & roll stomper that takes you back to their early days with crashing guitars and drums over Followill’s raucous howl. But those standouts are among the few hard-rocking moments you’ll find here.


Drummer Nathan Followill recently said the band’s new project was more “musically vulnerable” than what we’ve come to expect from the Kings. They prove that point by taking things down to a smooth simmer, weaving between mid-tempo beats and the slinky guitars on “Actual Daydream,” and delivering a brooding ballad with “Split Screen.” The highlight “Don’t Stop the Bleeding” shows another decidedly subdued side of the band that they don’t always get to embrace; they forgo stadium-sized guitars for an unexpectedly minimalist track, with Followill’s laidback vocal floating over sexy, slick production and restrained percussion. As it turns out, sometimes having fun doesn’t always have to sound like a rager.

The mellow country-tinged slow-dance “Ease Me On” exudes a peaceful, easy feeling, with Followill singing “Ease me on/When you’re ready, I’ll be ready, steady, go,” as the band shuffles on with tranquil acoustic strumming. “Always on my mind,” Followill repeats while sun-drenched guitars glow behind his tender vocal. The muddy garage opening of the final track “Seen” eventually builds to an overwhelming choir of the Kings’ harmonies before the song dissolves into a soothing climax. Can We Please Have Fun shows that these family rockstars aren’t afraid of change, and they’re sliding smoothly into whatever their next phase will be.


Source link



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -spot_img

Most Popular

Recent Comments