A Fond Eulogy for Kings of Leon

Any of you who have turned on MTV, VH1, or popular radio this summer will have heard the band Kings of Leon. They played live for MTV and blast through the iPods of those over-tanned over-bleached young men and women strolling through the hallways of my particular place of higher education.

Their latest album “Only by the Night” has exploded onto the scene. I, being the good sport that I am, will offer my congratulations to the band, but along with those congratulations a very firm farewell.

Kings of Leon —

What can I say that has not been said about rock bands in the past? You defined Summer 2005 for me. I listened to “Four Kicks” from your sophomore album Aha Shake Heartbreak every day, multiple times over. I could sing “The Bucket” start to finish at the top of my lungs on command. I backtracked and listened to your first album, Youth and Young Manhood. Equally fantastic.

I loved the garage, frantic sound of your music. I loved that it wasn’t perfectly processed and not perfectly together. My dad always loves when bands sound really “tight”. Kings of Leon, you were not “tight” and that was what made me love you. You were dirty, messy rock ‘n’ roll, and I loved you for it. I was 17 and I loved you with a Cameron Crowe style “Band-aid” passion.

And then, I purchased Because of the Times. I scratched my head and thought, hmm — this is interesting. The band is pulling itself together, true, but I’m not sure how I like the sound. It was a quality album, I will credit it for that. However, it lacked that musical confusion I loved so much on the first two albums.

And then — Oh, Kings of Leon. I do not feel more needs to be said about the most recent album than “sorority girls”, “MTV”, and “Z100”.

I will remember you as you once were and always hold you close to my heart.


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