I remember the first time I heard a Kings of Leon song. It was some months ago, during my Body Combat class, as a cooldown track. The smooth rhythm took me along for a relaxing cooldown, while the vocals and lyrics echoed a pain that was almost subdued. I didn’t know the song or the band then, but as soon as I went home, I proceeded to find out based on the haunting lyrics that I couldn’t get out of my head.
Any time the song were to play, be it on the radio or in my Body Combat classes, I couldn’t help but to sing along – vibrato and all.
When I first received a copy of King of Leon’s latest album a couple of weeks ago (courtesy of Sony Music), I immediately popped the CD into my car stereo. I was expecting to be impressed by the same muted heartache that I heard the first time I heard Use Somebody, but I was disappointed. I had gone through the entire album and not felt the same emotion as I was hoping for. I even took the album home to listen on a much more capable sound system, yet could not find what I was looking for.
It was a mistake on my part to expect the exact same flavor of emotion in a different album. However after many listens, I found it. Deep beneath the echoey recording style (that resembles the unique recording sounds of Abbey Road Studios, which recorded album by John Lennon, among others) and their seemingly beach-inspired instrumentals, the lyrics delivered, very subtly, that mellow emotion of a broken heart.
While the enjoyment of the music would escape me while I’m on the road, I found pleasure in their Brit-rock-esque brand of music (even though they are in fact an American band). While I’m not a particular huge fan of the laid-back genre, I found an unusual attraction to their music when I’m sitting around lazy, after a few beers down. It’s the kind of music that I’d play at an afternoon pool party where beer is plentiful and the grills are firing.
The music conveys the emotion so delicately, you feel it without realising it. Something people would unlikely sing along or dance to. It’s just there. Permeating the air with an almost contradicting blend of sombre emotion and feelings of relaxed enjoyment.
Bring some beer, come around sundown. We’ll have a barbecue by the beach and we’ll celebrate the day in the spirit of the Kings.