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Kings of Leon, Can We Please Have Fun Review

by Nolan ConghaileJune 18, 2024

Kings of Leon, Can We Please Have Fun Review

Kings-of-Leon-CUR-CDKings of Leon, the powerhouse rock outfit comprised of brothers Caleb Followill (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nathan Followill (drums, percussion), and Jared Followill (bass guitar), along with their cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar), return with their ninth studio album, Can We Please Have Fun? While the Southern rock elements that propelled them to fame are still present, the band ventures into new sonic territories, creating a genre-bending experience for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

The album shies away from the stadium-rock anthems of their later albums, instead drawing inspiration from a wider range of influences. Punctuated moments of raw energy and distorted guitars, courtesy of Matthew, evoke their garage rock roots (“Nothing To Do”). Traces of their Southern rock heritage peek through in the blues-rock undertones of certain guitar riffs (“Hesitation Gen”). However, the most striking change lies in the intricate guitar layering reminiscent of bands like The Strokes (“Nowhere To Run”). These sonic variations add a textural richness, pushing the boundaries of their sound.

The rhythm section provides a solid foundation for this exploration. Nathan Followill’s driving drums and JaredKings-of-Leon-2 Followill’s bass lines often have a more aggressive, punk-influenced feel compared to the traditional Southern rock swing (“Mustang”). This propulsive energy aligns the album more with alternative rock, creating a sense of urgency and immediacy.

While the album’s title suggests a lighthearted theme, the lyrics explore a range of emotions. Caleb Followill’s signature vocals grapple with themes of nostalgia (“Actual Daydream”), introspection (“Don’t Stop The Bleeding”), and the complexities of relationships (“Ease Me On”).

Kings-of-Leon-1Can We Please Have Fun? marks a new chapter for Kings of Leon. It’s an album that rewards close listening, showcasing the band’s willingness to experiment and evolve. Fans of their earlier, rawer sound will find echoes of that energy in the album’s punk-influenced moments. Meanwhile, the exploration of intricate guitar work and a tighter rhythm section expands their sonic palette, appealing to a broader range of alternative rock listeners. Ultimately, Can We Please Have Fun? shows Kings of Leon’s enduring creativity and their ability to keep their sound fresh and engaging.

Overview
Artist

Kings of Leon

Album

Can We Please Have Fun

Label

Capitol Records

Release Date

May 10, 2024

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