Kings of Leon

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Only by the Night (RCA)
Caleb Followill and the other members of the Kings family once seemed content with updating '70s Southern rock for the new millennium — but no more. Only by the Night is a bid for mass popularity and critical acclaim of the sort typically associated with Chris Martin, not Tennessee-bred good ol' boys. The song "Crawl" booms with effectively rendered Eurocentric arena ambitions, while "Be Somebody" somehow manages to make George-of-the-Jungle drums seem propulsive instead of dopey. Elsewhere, unfortunately, the Followills' commercial quest leads them in too-obvious directions. "Revelry" dribbles their early influences with weird "oooh-ooohs," and "Use Somebody" sounds as if it was composed to accompany an emotional Izzie storming down a hallway during a special episode of Grey's Anatomy. Such is the price of fame.
 
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