That family of Southern rockers from Tennessee is back. And they have a new song called “Radioactive” from their new album Come Around Sundown. Plus, there’s a new video (after the jump).
Over time, Kings of Leon has fallen off the Fresh Heirs radar with releases such as Only By The Night, and “Radioactive” doesn’t seem like it’ll bring the band back anytime soon. The vibe from Only By The Night still makes its presence known, which makes this song difficult to listen to (for me at least). Other people (y’all know who y’all are [note from Kevin: Dan, no subtle mentioning of your new girlfriend allowed. Not until 2 months]) will think otherwise.
“Radioactive” does get off to a passable start, as the groove of the verses is head-bob inducing, but the band immediately turns to the U2/arena rock/(crappy) aesthetic its been working towards over the past few years. Seriously, Matthew Followill’s guitar line in the chorus is ripped straight from The Edge. Caleb Followill spends the whole song straining his voice, as if trying to get the song to climax the entire way through (that’swhatshesaid). Caleb’s voice provides its best effect if he saves it before unleashing his screams at the climax (againwhatshesaid).
Then comes the most perplexing addition to the song that I really don’t know how I feel about: the choir backing vocals. Now when you think of bands you want to put a choir of talented black children behind, Kings of Leon is not the first one that pops into my head. But they try. And, well, it kind of makes it, but at the same time totally misses the mark. I feel that Caleb’s vocals are still too raw for such a refined aesthetic to be complementing it.
Then watching the band frolic with the children…well, it’s an interesting idea. I take this quote from Stereogum as the best (and only) opinion I’ve seen (besides fan Tumblrs):
Depending on your mood this’ll feel either totally heartwarming or totally contrived.
I have to say it feels sort of contrived. But being contrived isn’t the worst thing ever. I got that hilarious screen cap at the top out of it.