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Mechanical Bull

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Album Review

Kings of Leon hit it big in 2008 with their album Only by the Night and the accompanying one-two punch of singles "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody." The success of those singles propelled them into the upper echelon of arena rock bands and found them at a crossroads between the post-punk-influenced sound of their previous albums and the anthemic, U2-influenced approach that they'd begun to explore on Only by the Night. Perhaps not surprisingly, the band's follow-up, 2010's Come Around Sundown, while by no means a disappointment, seemed strained, as if the band was trying too hard to balance its early sound with its later hits, all while digging even deeper into its Southern roots. Which is partly why the band's sixth studio album, 2013's Mechanical Bull, comes as sweet relief. While still retaining Kings of Leon's penchant toward bombastic, hooky choruses and driving guitars, Mechanical Bull feels breezier and less labored than Come Around Sundown. Even the title feels like a cheeky double entendre that references both the band's Southern upbringing (lead singer Caleb Followill and his bandmate siblings were raised in Oklahoma and Tennessee) and the gear-like machinations of the rock industry. Front-loading an album with the leadoff single can often be a sign of weakness in a release, but not in this case. Kicking off with the passionate "Supersoaker" merely sets the tone for this album. In fact, two of the best cuts come midway through, with the yearning "Wait for Me" and the bluesy, Primal Scream-esque "Family Tree." Elsewhere, "Rock City" brings a heavy Mott the Hoople vibe to the fore and the raging "Coming Back Again" finds the band delving into War-era U2. Having grabbed their career by the horns with Mechanical Bull, it's clear that Kings of Leon aren't letting it get away from them anytime soon.

Customer Reviews


Sadly not the touted return to form and rediscovery of their early sound. Their songwriting seems to lack something nowadays with most of these tunes just drifting by. Uninspiring arrangements means the tunes lack any real depth and any sense of urgency in the more upbeat tracks sounds forced too. Supersoaker and a few others excepted, this is bit of a disappointment.

Bit gutted

I have been a huge fans of KOL since before they'd even released Youth and Young Manhood. So Gutted but I agree with the first review... Feels a bit lazy or going through the motions to me. Supersoaker is brilliant, reminds me of an Aha Shake tune, but not representative of the album... Come on chaps, get that energetic raw sound back!

Better than expected

There is no doubt that they seemed to have lost some of there mojo.The first review is pretty much spot on,it all feels a bit lack luster as though they were just going through the motions than attempting to release something with some guts.
Not the worst but not a patch on earlier material,more Fiat 126 than BMW 3 Series.


Formed: 2000 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Initially embraced as "the Southern Strokes" for their resurrection and reinvention of Dixie-styled rock & roll, Kings of Leon steadily morphed into an experimental rock outfit during the 2000s. The Tennessee-bred quartet debuted in 2003 with the Holy Roller Novocaine EP, whose blend of raw, unpolished boogie rock was further explored on their debut full-length, Youth & Young Manhood. Such revivalist music was matched by a similarly revivalist appearance -- including long hair, mustaches, and tight-fitting...
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Mechanical Bull, Kings of Leon
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Customer Ratings


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