“Mechanical Bull” presents itself as a comeback album of some sorts considering the Followill’s “short” hiatus following Caleb’s rehab. Metaphorically speaking, the title seems fitting for the Followill’s proverbial wild ride and challenges they had to face along the way. The title may also suggest that fans are in for the wildest ride in the form of a mechanical bull which is hardly the case. Angelo Petraglia is still backing the boys as producer in favor of continuing the success of previous albums.
Kings of Leon abandon some of their transgressive fury, but still deliver a comfortable middle ground for easy listening with “Mechanical Bull”. Not really what you expect from an album with a catchy title that involves a crazed bull riding machine. This is the sixth studio album by the Kings since they started back in 1999. “Mechanical Bull” is better described as an arena rock album, associated with commercial alternative rock. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering the Kings’ ability to produce catchy, radio ready anthems in the last 10 years.
The first singles from the album “Supersoaker” and “Wait for Me” were released mid-July and early August respectively. Both tracks display how easy it is for the Kings to sell their brand, reaffirming their status as one of the biggest rock bands. “Don’t Matter” also supports this statement with lots of energy, punchy drums and an ambitious guitar solo towards the end. “Rock City” is a cool, slick back rock groove that pays homage to some of their earlier work. “Temple” and “Beautiful War” draws you in with an addictive base line, while “Wait For Me” and “Tonight” is reminiscent of the wildly popular 2008’s “Use Somebody.”
Highlight tracks: “Supersoaker,” “Wait for Me,” “Don’t Matter,” “Temple” and “Tonight”
Rehab, marriages and the continued pressure to push forward and maintain the status quo has been challenging for the The Kings of Leon. Since the release of their Grammy nominated album “Come Around Sundown”, the guys needed to get back on the saddle even if it means taking on a “Mechanical Bull”. Nathan Followill spoke to Rollingstone saying “This record, we had to go back to the blueprint of what we did on our first album, when we locked ourselves in a house and rolled the dice.”
The man-made bull will not channel the caged animal inside you, expect an unremarkable and very listenable album. Arpeggiated chords lead a bluesy Southern rock album, which is consistent with anthemic and countryfied songs. The Kings may not have staged the ultimate comeback of the year, but their latest effort will please fans with one of their most listenable and radio ready albums to date.
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|6||“Wait for Me”||03:30|
|10||“Coming Back Again”||03:28|