What is it about The Kings of Leon that makes them so much fun to listen to? At the risk of deconstruction, I offer this analysis:
1. Simple song structure - the hallmark of a good pop band is taking simple, repetitive chord structures and turning them into something inimitable.
2. Good bass - the best bands know how to weight their instruments. Guitar idolatry is a sin. An alternate harmony bass line is sacrosanct. Especially if you've figured out a clean, organic sound like KOL has. Think "Longview" or "Seven Nation Army." It's all about the bass.
3. Voice - obvious, but a good voice that doesn't insist on album domination allows a huge range.
First impressions: way-past-bed-bottle-of-wine-deep edition:
Totally enjoyable, fun listening. How can you not like this band? A bright summery sound that complements a barbecue, drunken conversation, walk to school or anything in between. As I drove through the northwest Sierras last summer, listening to "Only By the Night," I was overjoyed - this band travels and they make traveling music.
Shades of Huey Lewis, Elvis Costello, the Kinks, the Police and the Avett Brothers. Somehow, KOL evokes favorites without being derivative. The best drinking music I could imagine.
Check out "Come Around Sundown," the latest Kings of Leon record.
Recommended: "Birthday" and "Back Down South"