Kings of Leon
The knock against the Followill brothers (and one cousin) is either that they're too obsessed with hooks or not obsessed enough.
On their new album they're definitely not obsessed. Though the record is crammed with riffs and the songs are sturdily built things, there's nothing here that will maintain their rock-crit reputation as the Southern Strokes. Given their backgrounds as progeny of an itinerant preacher, obsession is never far from the surface, however, and here it's with female mystery. A term like "charm" takes on ominous overtones and sex invariably leads to unwanted pregnancies and premature marriage. Caleb Followill never sounds anything less than terrified of these prospects, which makes the album seem overly earnest at times, but it's all of a piece and it certainly isn't boring. Greater attention is paid to mood and dynamic and the result is a record whose dramas are fully conveyed.
GREEN STAGE, 7/27, 5:30 pm