WALLS, Kings of Leon's seventh record, is an acronym: "We Are Like Love Songs." The album itself is a love letter to casual and die-hard fans, with the band returning to the sound that made them famous back in 2008 (don't even try to pretend you don't know the lyrics to "Use Somebody").
The band, who announced a short tour in support of the album today, have mastered a wall-of-sound technique, and their music has gotten even more emotional in the process. Moody "Eyes On You" is the perfect example of this, with Caleb Followill singing "Everyone says you should get away / Fast as you can, but I know you'll stay" with an angsty, energetic fervor. The song is made more bombastic by the use of chugging guitar, and high-paced drums.
Despite aiming to keep the energy of an arena show going throughout the record ("Around the World" and bass-heavy "Find Me" come to mind), the quiet moments seem to be the strongest. "Muchacho," which comes about halfway through the record, transitions the band from high-energy to a softer guitar, and the sound of drumsticks clacking against each other. It's energetic as the rest of the tracks, but keeps everything grounded in reflection without the drama. The second half of the record is by far the best, dominated by slow, balanced tracks (the outstanding "Conversation Piece" and the electroacoustic title track, which closes the record) as much as their typical alt-rock fare ("Wild").
Riding the waves of conflict and calm, with music that feels at home in both stadiums and silences, Kings of Leon's newest record is a welcome return to form, and by far one of their best.
WALLS is out now. Watch the video for "Waste A Moment" below.