Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Kings of Leon

  • Youth & Young Manhood [RCA, 2003] Dud
  • Aha Shake Heartbreak [RCA, 2005] B+
  • Only by the Night [RCA, 2008] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Youth & Young Manhood [RCA, 2003] Dud

Aha Shake Heartbreak [RCA, 2005]
There's an early-Stones feel here it would be perverse to deny: 12 songs in 36 minutes, each with an indelible identiriff and its own seductive rhythmic shape. Caleb Hollowill's slippery wiles recall Jagger's without grasping Jagger's gift for the pungent phrase. That Hollowill avoids cock-rock clichés hardly means he's come to terms with the jezebels who were driving backsliding Southern boys past their intellectual limits long before Elvis paid Mr. Phillips to record his love song to Gladys. B+

Only by the Night [RCA, 2008]
Catchier riffage than last time, and that's all they'll ever write ("Closer," "Be Somebody"). **

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