My dad introduced me to Kings Of Leon when I was in high school. They’re one of those bands that some recent fanatics might not realize have been around for quite a long time. In fact, this Tennessee garage rock band has been making music since 1999. In a sense, I think they’ve more or less coined the phrase “Southern rock,” or at least evolved it into a more tangible genre with country and blues influence, heavy guitar and scruffy facial hair. Swoon.
These are my top five Kings of Leon song picks:
1.)“Revelry” off of Only By The Night — This probably wouldn’t be everyone’s initial first pick for a Kings Of Leon song, but it’s the one that struck me, with the catchy soul and melancholy sway that only a really great rock song can capture. It’s slower paced by their standards, but a delightfully sad tale of demons inside being too strong to house love.
“So I drink and I smoke and I ask you if you’re ever around / even though it was me who drove us right into the ground.”
2.)“Four Kicks” off of Aha Shake Heartbreak — Perhaps this is another rogue pick, but my god, this song has an upbeat, youthful, more spastic and “garage rock” sound than most of their other songs. It’s essentially about four heartbreakers partaking in a serious case of ass-kicking when they still sported shaggy hair, and it’s downright addictive. The video is a bunch of people beating each other up and Caleb Followill wearing this really awkward diamond-patterned sweater. Just go with it.
“You with your switchblade posse / I’ll get my guns from south / we’ll take it to the yard like a cock fight / four kicks who’s struttin’ now?”
3.)“Charmer” off of Because Of The Times — This girl is making Caleb crazy. So crazy that he literally starts screaming. Let me tell you, psychotic episodes have never sounded so sexy (oops, did I say that?) or so rock ‘n’ roll. “Charmer” is one of those songs fans either love or hate. At only about three minutes long with heavy repetition, screaming and a wicked guitar solo, it definitely deviates from the Kings Of Leon norm. In a good way.
“She’s such a charmer oh no / She’s such a charmer oh no / She’s always looking at me / She’s always looking at me.”
4.)“Beautiful War” off of Mechanical Bull — This track from their most recent album really showcases their lyrical and vocal progression as an artist through earnest, raw narrative on the perils of love. A timeless rock anthem, it’s full of the heart and soul I sometimes miss in their more tongue-and-cheek songs. “Beautiful War” is a reminder that it’s not supposed to be easy.
“I say ‘Love, love don’t mean nothing / unless there’s something worth fighting for’ / It’s a beautiful war.”
5.)“Mary” off of Come Around Sundown — Kings Of Leon has a love song, or at least, something close to it. There honestly isn’t much to it. It’s a sweet, simple love ballad that I think sounds a little more like something they wrote for a hot girl at a bar than a soul mate. Regardless, it makes my heart melt. More than anything, it makes me wish my name was Mary.
“Mary if you want to / I’ll waive my right / I’ll be on the corner / just passing time / No I won’t, ever once, make you cry / Just a kiss, oh I miss, your goodbye.”
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