Kings of Leon and their Big Rock, "Mary"

The Kings of Leon, meddling sons of a preacher man, have set up at a crossroads after their multi-platinum, Grammy-winning breakthrough Only By The Night. Nine years on and five albums in, the Followills’ have risen from indie darlings, once christened the Southern Strokes, to glossy arena-ready rockers, soaring into the mainstream – heirs to the rock ‘n roll throne.

For their fifth long-player, Come Around Sundown, the Followill family band, uprooted from Nashville and recorded in Midtown Manhattan – they stick to their guns, cloning the template that fueled sales upwards of 6 million, making for an unremarkable experience, an unfocused album lacking bite. Yeah, you guessed it patients, the doctors and nursemaids are suckers for the first three KoL albums, with the lads Followill riding their Southern-fried swagger and moonshine-fueled rollercoaster: Youth and Young Manhood, Aha Shake Heartbreak and Because of the Times.

Tennessee’s rock patriarchs shine on the anthemic standout track, “Mary,” where they toy with hard-driving doo-wop, bringing it South of the Mason Dixon line. The track gets off the ground swaying with frontman Followill drawling, “Mary, if you want to / I waive my right / I'll be on the corner / Just passin' time,” backed by spurred guitar jabs and steady as bedrock rhythm. There’s even an indulgent, on the loose guitar solo – a rarity in their canon.

Come Around Sundown is out now on RCA

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MP3: Kings of Leon – “Mary”

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