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Kings of Leon

Youth & Young Manhood

Release Date: 08.19.03
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Southern Rock Gone Awry
by: clint poole

Sometimes the taglines Big Entertainment’s marketing teams apply to bands, in an effort to publicize their own products, skew our ability to make good decisions. Clearly this is the case with Kings of Leon latest album Youth & Young Manhood. The band has been tattooed with the “Southern-fried Strokes” moniker by the industry’s wittier image makers, but unless you are trying criticize the Strokes as a band without direction, the label makes little sense.

Not from a lack of trying, Youth & Young Manhood falls flat of lofty expectations with disjointed tracks that seem to borrow too liberally from greater bands of the past. For a family band (three brothers and a cousin), there doesn’t seem to be much chemistry between the individuals. Lead singer Caleb Followill trips up his kin with a lazy delivery of bumbling lyrics, always too many syllables than the music allows.

The poor lyrical delivery is truly a shame because the music delivers some solid southern and blues-rock stylings. “Wasted Time” is a great blues-picking medley and, although it at times sounds like an Allman Brother’s cover song, “Joe’s Head” is a fun, toe-tapper for sure. To give credit where it’s due, the bandmates do pull themselves together enough to deliver some complete tracks such as their current radio-song “Red Morning Light” and the rockabilly “Genius”.

All in all, Youth & Young Manhood is a few gems in an otherwise much-hyped wasteland of raw talent and lazy delivery. 17-Feb-2004 8:55 AM