This eighth album from the group certainly sounds extremely laid back and is a complete surprise.
From the group that gave us songs such as ‘Sex On Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’ for example this album feels like a massive departure from those roof raising songs that Kings of Leon are well known for. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as times have changed and this latest album shows a band who certainly taking a more mature and laid back approach to their music.
With songs such as album open opener ‘When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away’, Kings of Leon are taking a more subtle approach – letting the music rather than the lyrics take centre stage, highlighting the strength of their musicianship. This for the most part works, but there are songs in which the music and lyrics need to be more equally balanced out to make an impact such as on ‘100,000 People’ in which the clarity of the lyrics are slightly overpowered by the strength of the music.
This being said, for the most part this is a very mellow album that mixes things up nicely in terms of style as you can hear with songs such as the edgy ‘The Bandit’ (which is one track that does sound like some previous Kings of Leon tracks) and a surprisingly delicate ‘Fairytale’ which rounds off the album nicely.
But particular highlights on this album include ‘A Wave’ that starts off gently before bursting out with a sense of drama, soaring and lifting the listener to new heights. Meanwhile, ‘Claire & Eddie’ is a really lovely chilled out track that is perfect for a quiet evening, while ‘Echoing’ mixes it up even more with its sense of urgency. Perhaps on reflection, the album could have been structured in a different way just to make it sound a little more consistent for listeners – but there is no denying that there are still some really decent songs on this album.
Overall, When You See Yourself is a really unexpected surprise of an album that shows a band who have still a lot to offer musically.
By Emma Clarendon
When You See Yourself is available to buy and download now.