Column: New Kings of Leon album a hit

Ryan Meyer

Kings of Leon released their eighth album, “When You See Yourself,” on March 5. It had been over four years since their last record and this new release was well worth the wait.

The singles for “When You See Yourself” were probably the best picks to represent the record before it had come out. “The Bandit” sees Kings of Leon trying post-punk on for size and massively succeeding. This song will fit in perfectly with concert standards like “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire.” The other two singles, “100,000 People” and “Echoing” show the band using synths in prominent areas of the song, and then touching on past songs like “Supersoaker,” respectively.

But then there are the album tracks that may never see arenas or radio play, which is unfortunate because they contain some beautiful moments. “A Wave” begins with almost two minutes of piano and interesting guitar before settling into a familiar pace that doesn’t quite reach rollicking but doesn’t need to, because it quickly returns to an acoustic guitar and piano bridge.

“Golden Restless Age” follows after, and this is my candidate for the best song on the album. I first heard a snippet of it on the band’s Instagram, and the short keyboard part I heard was enough of a hook for me. It’s brief and doesn’t stick around for the verse, but it’s such a good melody that I will always stick around until the chorus to hear it again. Luckily, the verse has some great staccato guitar action to hold a listener over.

“When You See Yourself” features some of Kings of Leon’s most visually appealing artwork, too. The album cover features shadows of each band member playing their instruments cast on a beige cover with simple block lettering.

The YouTube videos and Instagram posts for some of the snippets, some of which are likely borrowed from music videos or album art, are also interesting. The video for “Golden Restless Age” features a simple design with lyrics upside down and sideways and a blurred, paint-smeared image of what appears to be Caleb Followill, the lead singer.

As Kings of Leon begin to do the rounds on television talk shows, the remote aspect of the pandemic provides the band with freedom in their live performances. Rather than being live in the studio, they record their performances in ways that seem to match the aesthetic they’re going for, with grainy footage and moody colors.

“When You See Yourself” shows Kings of Leon as good as they’ve ever been and features multiple songs that I believe belong on any future Greatest Hits album.

 

Ryan Meyer is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]