10 songs, 42 minutes
RCA Records (2016)
Their original fanboys and fangirls will be disappointed that the group’s roots as blues-inspired Southern rock seem gone for good. But Kings of Leon seems content enough in their more contemporary role as torch-bearers of arena alt-rock.
“WALLS,” the band’s latest release, appears to confirm this, as the Followill family writes a tight bunch of safely assembled pop numbers.
There are high points, to be sure. “Reverend” is driving and undeniably catchy, “Around The World” a sure-fire dance hit and “Muchacho” takes the music into refreshingly instrumental territory, with a fine solo backed by a Latin beat.
Still, it’s hard not to expect a little more from these guys. And even their more recent fans seem to agree: After debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 20, the album dropped swiftly to No. 20.