Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown

Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown
Pity poor Kings of Leon. Their fall from media darlings to corporate sell-outs is based solely on the fact that they started to sell records. Their music hasn't changed drastically from album to album; it might be a little smoother around the edges, but they've retained the ragged Southern charm that endeared them to fans in their early days. That doesn't mean album number five, Come Around Sundown, is their best record; it isn't. But it isn't close to being the worst record of the year either. The biggest issue they have, apart from their dodgy lyrics, is they've painted themselves into a corner. Their songs need to be all hooks to maintain the level of airplay they've become accustomed to, but the majority of these songs meander in a way that's more pleasant than catchy. That makes Come Around Sundown a strange placeholder of an album. The two obvious hits ("Radioactive" and "Mary") will keep them in the spotlight, filling stadiums, while branding them the next U2. But, realistically, Kings of Leon can't ride this wave of popularity forever and their next album will either make or break them. (RCA)