Forum Thread: Kings of Leon - page 1

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Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   Jan 10, 05 at 7:50pm (PST)
Subject:   Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon

We've written about some things on this record that we're ashamed of, said things that we wouldn't normally say. We've got some songs about fighting and some songs about loving and some songs about *bleep*ing," says Caleb Followill about the songs on Kings of Leon's new album, Aha Shake Heartbreak. "We're definitely not the same people we were 18 months ago. We've all just grown so, so much and seen so many things," the lead singer says, adding that the band's new songs chronicle "different nights, different stories and different emotions. "

Drummer brother Nathan adds, "On our first album, I'd say about 30 percent of what we were writing about was autobiographical and 70 percent was wishful thinking. We were writing about things we hadn't seen yet. On this album, 90 percent of what we're writing about are things we've experienced, nights we've had. There's still that other ten percent though..."

Kings of Leon's second record, Aha Shake Heartbreak, finds the band—brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill, and first cousin Matthew Followill—delving deeper than ever into their rich musical rapport and shared personal history to deliver a dozen doses of raw, personally-charged rock. The new band-penned songs reflect the life-changing -- often traumatic --experiences that irrevocably altered the four band members' perspectives during the 18 months that preceded the album's creation. During that time, the band swiftly rose from rural obscurity to bona fide rock stardom overseas—particularly in the U.K., where their 2003 debut Youth & Young Manhood has almost sold double platinum.

While Youth & Young Manhood shook up the musical landscape, introducing a bracing blend of runaway-train energy, pointedly thoughtful lyrical attitude and a remarkably fresh take on traditional guitar-rock dynamics, the new collection marks a wildly impressive leap forward, taking the first album's primal rock into deeper—and unmistakably darker—musical and emotional territory. The upheaval that accompanied the band's rapid rise to heavily-scrutinized international rock stardom is reflected in Aha Shake Heartbreak's original compositions. These haunting, twisted tales compellingly confront the darker side of success, surveying the personal toll of debauchery, overindulgence and fast living. The NME recently observed, "If Youth and Young Manhood was the party, Aha Shake Heartbreak is the hangover."

The material encompasses a broad range of stylistic elements and lyrical moods, from the anthemic, soul-searching "My Generation" rush of "The Bucket" to the pensive, nervous groove of "Slow Nights, So Long" to the swaggering throb of "Taper Jean Girl" to the jittery minimalism of "King of the Rodeo" and the dreamy desolation of "Milk." Throughout the album, the band's unique instrumental chemistry is matched by the emotional gravity of Caleb's distinctively slurred vocals.

The British press has already taken notice of Aha Shake Heartbreak's creative quantum leap. Mojo said the record is "an ultimately outstanding crack at Brokering an accord between spiky noo wave and fuzzy '70s stoner rock", while The Guardian gave it "CD of the week" status and went on to say that the band has "sophistication that outstrips their contemporaries...a vast improvement on Youth & Young Manhood."

Like its predecessor, Aha Shake Heartbreak was recorded with producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Ben Kweller) at his 3 Crows studio in Los Angeles using the Beatles' old Abbey Road mixing desk. Once again, the band's longtime mentor, noted songwriter/producer Angelo, made additional co-production contributions. The tracks were cut completely live with no overdubs, and the stripped-down approach resulted in punchy, organic performances as well as some affecting moments of intimacy and sensitivity.

"There were things on this record that I wouldn't have been brave enough to do before because I was afraid everybody else would think I was soft," said Caleb. "Anything from yodeling to singing pretty when I wanted to sing pretty...I still bring it when I got to bring it." The singer also kicked a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit in order to expand his vocal range in the studio.

Three of the four Followills were still in their teens when Kings of Leon debuted with the five-song EP Holy Roller Novocaine in February 2003. Youth & Young Manhood followed six months later, winning such early accolades as a four-star review in Rolling Stone, before achieving wholesale international stardom. Admiring critics have often focused on the undiluted purity of Kings of Leon's rural roots. But that purity has, ironically, led some observers to overlook the originality and complexity of the band's music, which draws freely from a multitude of musical traditions while sounding like no one else.

Caleb makes it clear that, despite the outside pressures and expectations that have accompanied the band's rise to prominence, Kings of Leon remain fiercely focused on continuing to create riveting music that's wholly their own. The whirlwind of the band's recent history has tested the Followills' mettle and strengthened their resolve, carrying the four musicians from their sheltered, humble upbringing to the sort of high-profile mythology that's usually reserved for veteran combos.

"We were plucked out of nowhere, and we had a lot of fun and did a lot of crazy shit," the singer notes. "But we've also become more serious about this music and more confident in what we're doing. We're growing, but we're trying not to grow up."

Youth and Young Manhood:
1. Red Morning Light
2. Happy Alone
3. Wasted Time
4. Joe's Head
5. Trani
6. California Waiting
7. Spiral Staircase
8. Molly's Chambers
9. Genius
10. Dusty
11. Holy Roller Novocaine

Aha Shake Heartbreak:
1. Slow Night, So Long
2. King of the Rodeo
3. Taper Jean Girl
4. Pistol of Fire
5. Milk
6. The Bucket
7. Soft
8. Razz
9. Day Old Blues
10. Four Kicks
11. Velvet Snow
12. Rememo

Because of the Times
1. Knocked Up
2. Charmer
3. On Call
4. McFearless
5. Black Thumbnail
6. My Party
7. True Love Way
8. Ragoo
9. Fans
10. The Runner
11. Trunk
12. Camaro
13. Arizona

One of my favourite bands at the minute after I picked up Aha Shake Heartbreak. Favourite tracks are: California Waiting, Genius, Red Morning Light, The Bucket and Milk. I personally think their new album is better then Youth and Young Manhood, but I've heard varied opinions. Anyway, discuss

Author:   Dugene
Date:   Jan 11, 05 at 11:08pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
4 Kicks has a kick ass video and the song wasn't all that good till i listened to it for a second time its really catchy now.

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   Jan 12, 05 at 8:08pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Yea, I like 4 Kicks alright. Their very popular in the UK and Ireland at the minute. How are they doing in America, if anyone knows?

Author:   stevensr1
Date:   Jan 12, 05 at 9:18pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
KOL Rock. I love the album's!
My fav song is Joe's head it's so funny.
I jst missed seing them when they toured last month
Im gutted

Author:   dandaman
Date:   Jan 12, 05 at 10:54pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Im sure i made a thread about these.......

Anyway they are class, Holy Roller Novocaine is a class song, as is 4 kicks. Nearly went to see them at Blackpool this year but ended up not doing. Next time they come over here though ill def be going.

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   Jan 13, 05 at 9:55pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
I searched the index...

Anyway, which album do you think is better? I find Aha Shake Heartbreak better marginally, though Youth And Young Manhood is still brilliant.

In my group of friends there's mixed opinions about them. I think the lead singer's voice is an acquired taste,

Author:   dandaman
Date:   Jan 13, 05 at 10:14pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Youth and Young Manhood is better

The singers voice is good, on four kicks its a little wierd though. On Mollys Chambers it sounds like the drummer singing, i know he does backing vocals but does he sing the full song on this? Or at least the verses?

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   Jan 13, 05 at 10:32pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Nah, I'm nearly sure that the lead singer (Caleb Followill is it?) sings it, just slightly differently. King of the Rodeo is a brilliant song

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   Jun 24, 05 at 8:29pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Well, I have to admit after a couple of more listens that Youth and Young Manhood is better than Aha Shake Heartbreak. I think there's more standout tracks on YaYM than ASH to be honest. Tracks like Red Morning Light, Wasted Time, California Waiting, Molly Chambers and Holy Roller Novocaine make it a much better album

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   May 21, 07 at 2:53pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon

How come there's been no talk about these guys? The new album is easily the best thing out there at the moment, they've moved away from the first two albums and Because Of The Times is a musical leap for them. Apart from On Call and Charmer (two songs which just irritate me) there isn't a single song on the album that I would skip.

Knocked Up, Black Thumbnail and My Party are all brilliant tracks, as is Arizona. But, for me, the best track on the album is True Love Way. Lyrical genius.

Author:   audacity
Date:   May 21, 07 at 2:56pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Whaaaaaaat? On Call is superb, I love it. Anyway, yes, best album that's been out for a while. Favourite song is also True Love Way, Ragoo is excellent as well. I'm a huge fan of the band (first concert) and will most likely catch them at T in the Park, because I really want to hear some of the Because of the Times material. Solid, solid album...

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   May 21, 07 at 3:00pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
I don't know, it's just too repetitive for me, I can't listen to it anymore! Yea, they're also performing at Oxegen along with Arcade Fire, Babyshambles, Muse and Brian Wilson, so should be a good weekend of music

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   Nov 15, 07 at 2:14pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Seeing these guys in the RDS in a couple weeks, it's a pretty small venue so I'm really looking forward to it, hoping they're gonna play some of their more chilled stuff, especially Day Old Blues.

They were unreal at Oxegen, the only band that I seriously went mental for. From listening to their stuff the past week or so I've come to the conclusion that they are the best band I've heard in a long, long time. Really fresh, I think they're the best thing out there.

Author:   think of something
Date:   Nov 15, 07 at 3:56pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
Probably the only acceptable indie band in the mainstream at the moment.

Author:   Irish Gamer
Date:   Nov 29, 07 at 1:05pm (PST)
Subject:   re: Kings of Leon
I'm probably posting too much in this thread but I don't give a shit.

Saw them on Tuesday, they played Ragoo live for the first time ever and the line "We're gonna play til they're kickin' down the door" was quite ironic in that the gig got cut short because bits of the roof was falling in. Great old Irish venues

Still, they played a magnificent set, played every song off the new album except for Charmer (which was gonna be in the encore), The Runner, Trunk and True Love Way (gutted). Arizona and Knocked Up were unreal, as was Milk, Ragoo, Black Thumbnail, McFearless, Holy Roller Novocaine (holy shit!), Molly's Chambers, Razz, The Bucket.

I could name the whole set because everything about the gig was *bleep*ing amazing! I was in the second row from the front, had a great view but I was only looking at Caleb, he's got such a class presence on stage. Although I spotted Matthew looking bored and shrugging his shoulders during the Molly's Chambers solo, because it's so easy compared to their new stuff

Anyway, brilliant concert in an intimate venue that fell down because they rocked too much. "There's no better place to open our tour, we love it here." We love you here too, guys

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