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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Aha Shake Heartbreak

Kings of Leon

2004

Buy At Rough Trade
Aha Shake Heartbreak
Album Summary

Aha Shake Heartbreak is the second studio album by American rock band Kings of Leon. It was first released in Europe on November 1, 2004, then in the United States on February 22, 2005, with alternate cover artwork. It is the only album by Kings of Leon to have a Parental Advisory label, because of profanity in "Taper Jean Girl", "Rememo", "Soft", and "Four Kicks". The U.S. album cover is reminiscent of Queen's A Night at the Opera. "The Bucket", "Four Kicks" and "King of the Rodeo" were released as singles in the UK. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 74, based on 31 reviews, which indicates it received "generally favorable reviews". Rolling Stone listed it as the 39th best album of its decade, and it was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.01

Votes

10563

Genres

  • Rock

Reviews

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Wed Apr 26 2023
2

a 7/10 album that loses 2 stars for having the worst fucking singer I’ve ever heard in my life, jesus christ I hope his fucking balls get crushed zero variation too, it’s like he just found the single most annoying sound he could make with his voice and made an entire career out of it 3/10

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Thu May 25 2023
1

I’m not sure where Leon is but they need to violently overthrow the monarchy

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Wed Sep 13 2023
1

Imagine a band where every single artistic decision doesn't even come remotely close to landing. I present: Kings of Leon

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Sat Apr 29 2023
2

Oh, this one is so boring! I like some things from Kings of Leon, but this album is so background your brain ignores it completely.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
3

Had no idea that was the name of this album. Devastated to realise this is nearly 20 years old too... I bet they'd be great fun to see at a festival but I can't see myself thinking "Ooh you know what, I'm going to put on some Kings of Leon, that'll hit the spot"

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Thu Feb 01 2024
1

A problem with the original version of this book being released in 2006 is that every awful dudebro indie group that got popular in response to nu-metal was still fresh on people’s minds and as a result I have to listen to Kings of Leon 18 years later.

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Thu Sep 07 2023
2

Album #: 272 first impressions: *shudder* I just got the Black Keys two days ago, isn't that enough unchecked testosterone for one week. after listening through: barely coherent horny mumbling and moaning over bluesy, crunchy garage-y rock. it clearly shows they've listened to a lot of the classics (for better or worse,) but it does not seem like it should be allowed to be listened to in the daytime or around children. Except, you know, for a Jeep commercial or something. That's Kings of Leon for you. I do not think anyone was shocked to learn these guys had serious problems w alcohol. but anyway, i guess it was more fun than expected if you simply pretend this man isn't trying to sing in English. post-reading reviews/wiki: i do not want to believe how many people like this. i guess that's what happens when u get a lot of sweaty young (white) men doing these reviews recommended for: montages of the type of bros who call women "chicks" in public and "females" online trying to act swaggy at dingy bars w sticky floors; finding motivation to take a shower.

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Tue Apr 18 2023
4

I liked this a lot more than I expected. I guess all I've heard by them is that Sex on Fire song which I don't care for. I thought there was something vaguely evangelical about them or that they were what Foo Fighters fans listened to when they were feeling "arty" ( I kid, the Foo Fighters are great) but this is some solid slightly psychedelic, slightly cock rocky, slightly southern, rock and roll music, sung with kind of a weird accent. Also, am I the first person to get this album? There don't seem to be any reviews or even an average rating. I'm giving it a 4.

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Tue May 23 2023
3

So this is how the Kings of Leon started out... as another nameless indie rock band. No real surprise lol. It's "bluesy" and "southern rock" in that way people say Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is: not at all, but hipsters need to pretend they're listening to more than just nameless indie rock. Singer is pretty bad, guess he took lessons at some point after this album. Not that he's exactly Pavarotti now, but there's been a marked improvement. This was short enough and didn't honestly suck, but we all know it's a retroactive addition based on their later success. Wouldn't ever listen again, and I don't like their later stuff either, but it's a safe 3/5.

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Fri Aug 04 2023
3

I don't know why this guy sings so unintelligibly. I think I prefer their later output, but this was fine.

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Thu Jun 01 2023
2

Good music. I'm just not sure what exactly it is supposed to be. There's not much to remember about these guys.

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Sat Dec 09 2023
1

Trying to be The Strokes, but missing the vital ingredients - originality and charisma. A decent song, but the fact I always thought 'The Bucket' was by The Magic Numbers shows just how lacking in edge KoL are. Rating: 1.5/5 Playlist track: The Bucket Date listened: 08/12/23

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Wed May 03 2023
5

Oh man, I hadn't listened to this album in probably ten years or so, and I forgot how much I loved it. My first exposure to KoL was probably when "Sex is on Fire" was getting played non-stop on the local alternative rock station. I hated that song so much, but my cousin persuaded me to check out some of KoL's older catalog, so I bought Aha Shake Heartbreak, and absolutely fell in love. The first three tracks are just absolute perfection, closing out their incredible run with "Taper Jean Girl," which has my favorite drumming of the whole album. The guitar on "Taper Jean Girl" is perfect too, and I can't help but bob my head along each time I listen. As much as I love the first three tracks, "The Bucket" is my favorite track on the album; the drum fills during the chorus, combined with the high-pitched guitars provide the perfect contrast to their counterparts during the verses. I feel like KoL set the perfect blueprint for other established Indie rock artists like The Black Keys and Portugal. The Man to break into the mainstream. I know that Caleb Followill's vocals aren't for everyone, but I really love his singing on this album, especially on "Day Old Blues;" there's just such a unique timbre to his voice that I really enjoy. For me, this album is the picture perfect example of Indie Rock from the aughts, right up there with "Is This It" and "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning."

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Wed Jul 03 2024
4

Could be the nostalgia talking but this still sounds pretty good to me. I actually think their third album is better but if you were to listen to just one KoL record before you die Aha Shake Heartbreak is also a good option. Raucous tails of debauchery (presumably - Caleb tended not to enunciate properly in those days) set mostly to southern fried rock’n’roll but with some pensive interludes. I agree with the school of thought that says Jared was the band’s secret weapon - a lot of the most inventive, melodic hooks are his basslines.

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Wed May 10 2023
3

It was fun, and had some good songs, but so much of the album felt like them trying their very best to be a Strokes knockoff.

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Sun Jun 04 2023
3

Sounded like horny rock the whole time: like I guess it wasn't that bad with a decent beat to it and a nice guitar BUT it sounded so late 00's early 10's and I wasn't a fan of that. It just hasn't aged very well for my ears and almost was underwhelming as to what I thought it could be, a half decent modern rock album. Alas it was mid and nothing could save it from that fact.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
3

When I saw the name I groaned. I think it might have aged well which is unusual given it was a Beaujolais rather than a Bordeaux.

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Thu Sep 21 2023
3

3.0 - Seeing one KOL record on this list felt surprising, two borders on lunacy. While I do like the Strokes-esque guitar work on here, the mumble-babble vocals do nothing to elevate any of these songs beyond a few occasional head bops.

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Mon Apr 24 2023
2

Du rock très fade, aucunement intéressant. Cet album n'est pas atrocement mauvais, mais il n'a aucune raison d'apparaître sur un palmarès comme ça. 3/10

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Mon May 08 2023
2

Parfois, on peut penser que quelque chose est sur le point de se produire en écoutant Kings of Leon. Et en fait, non.

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Wed Jun 05 2024
1

I find it crazy that there were 3 Kings of Leon albums originally in the book editions, and then crazier they removed them. Their music is so bland I really don't understand why they're on this list at all.

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Fri Jul 05 2024
1

I’d say this album aged poorly, but there’s just no way people didn’t see a ton of red flags with this album on release, both lyrically and sonically. When I can’t understand the lyrics, I just hear grating babble. When I can understand the lyrics, most of the time I end up wishing I didn’t. Multiple kings of Leon albums on this list are an affront to the dedicated listeners time

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

La 31eme écoute est la meilleure

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Tue Apr 25 2023
5

Surprising for what I've always thought of as a pop rock band. More blues, great lyrics, great vocals! Thoroughly enjoyed!

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Thu May 25 2023
5

Really, really ,really enjoyed listening to this

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Thu May 25 2023
5

Top dit! Vette, originele sound, leuke nummers. Jammer dat ze later zo zijn afgez(w)akt.

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Thu Jun 01 2023
5

Wow, that was an amazing listening. I really loved it from start to end, I like the vibe so much. The rythm of the album is super good and it alternates calmer moments with catchy parts. Favorite Tracks : Soft, Four Kicks Rating : 4.5 / 5

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

Love this album. There are some super fun songs, mixed with more mellow and reflective tracks.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

This is an album that you have to let grow on you. I didn’t understand it fully when I heard it as a good, but I thought it was unique and had a mystique to it. Caleb’s voice is mesmerizing to me, I think those who do not like it can consider their opinion valid, but I would credit the polarizing atmosphere of this album to the chances this album took, it’s like punk country. Small town Oklahoma boys, ripping up some guitar and laying some delicious drum fills to some expert bass lines and the vocals are not to be understood, but to be felt. It’s primal, and it’s fucking punk rock!

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Thu Sep 28 2023
5

This album used to be played almost every other day in a flat I was in during my uni years . I can’t help but love it for the nostalgia it gives me

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Fri Oct 06 2023
5

Immediately nostalgic. - Still pretty unique and exciting

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Thu Nov 16 2023
5

Ook zo'n band waarvan je de sound van mijlenver herkent. Goed plaatje

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Sat Nov 18 2023
5

Has velvet snow. + 3 stars. Is nearly as good as their debut. + 3 stars. ******

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Wed Dec 13 2023
5

I think pre-mainstream Kings of Leon were a super fun band - and this album is the richest of the two. For me it brings good memories too since it was out during a specific period of my life - I don't think I can find any fault in this album to be honest - it's perfectly paced, good songs, never overstays it's welcome, and it makes great music for running to.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

What an album! So many hard knockers in here. This band truly had something special. Such a shame they went after the money and mainstream. Standout tracks: Slow Night, So Long, King Of The Rodeo, Taper Jean Girl, Milk, The Bucket, Soft, Razz, Day Old Blues, Four Kicks, Velvet Snow, Rememo, Where Nobody Knows. 9,5 out of 10

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

An album showing the maturity of the band. Recommended.

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

Not much else to say but pre SOF King's of Leon put out some incredible tunes over those first three albums. Where Nobody Knows, Four Kicks and Taper Jeans Girl are the easy highlights. Nothing tops Charmer off the next album though.

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Sun Mar 10 2024
5

Really really liked it, good stuff

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Sat Mar 30 2024
5

I don’t understand the complaints about Caleb’s singing He’s like a horny early rockier Michael Stipe But then my 2nd born is called Caleb Was the world crying out for the 2nd KoL album to be this good? No it wasn’t. Was the 2nd KoL album banger after banger? Yes it was

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Fri Apr 05 2024
5

classic, one of my favorites, resonates with my mid 20s and a fun time in my life

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Thu Apr 11 2024
5

Perfect combination of edgy songs, a raw sound and charismatic vocals.

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Sun Apr 28 2024
5

This is why KoL are held in such high regard. It was consistently downhill a couple of albums later.

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Tue Apr 25 2023
4

I had not listened to this album before, but I enjoyed it.

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Mon May 01 2023
4

A great bridge between two eras of pop rock

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Tue May 16 2023
4

The singer’s voice bothers me but I actually like some of the songs. 7/10

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Tue May 16 2023
4

7/10. Quite enjoyable, but it all blended together

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Mon May 22 2023
4

Never took the time to listen to these guys back in the day, but I think I should have. The main thing that keeps going through my head when listening to this is how good it would sound in a small to medium sized club. Production is perfectly stripped down. Feels genuinely soulful - which is a relatively rare quality in indie rock. Okay, I listened to some of their bigger hits which came later, not from this album, and now I know why I passed on them way back when: they have that melodramatic, overproduced sound that movie soundtracks and TV commercials love, and which I hate. But on this album at least, they got it right.

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Mon May 22 2023
4

I'm a fan of King of Leon - yes, even their Sex on Fire era, as overblown as it was, but nothing they've done since really compares to their first couple albums (this one and Youth & Young Manhood). Raw, tight, gripping rock n roll. Caleb's unique voice and delivery helps set the band apart and define their sound. The album drags in a couple places but overall a great listen.

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Wed May 24 2023
4

This one grew on me. By the end, I was sold on the whole vibe and feel of the album. It's strong and plays rough without being jagged and unpolished. The recording quality is maybe not the greatest but it also seems somewhat intentional so I can get behind it. I don't know, man. It was a pretty good time. It's nice to hear some rock and roll on this list again. It's been a while.

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Thu May 25 2023
4

The much better end of Kings of Leon. I like this stuff but I do just get a negative feeling toward them from his voice because of the rubbish they churned out later.

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Thu May 25 2023
4

Ah a great era of Kings of Leon! You love to hear it. Before they did what Coldplay and Biffy Clyro did and went on chugging out pop pleasers there were some really fun songs in here. Enjoyed this a lot

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Sun Jun 18 2023
4

Fijn plaatje! Toen de Kings of Leon nog in hun opstartfase zaten en lekkere catchy en puntige rocksongs maakte. I.p.v. die aalgladde middle-of-the-road stadionrock van de latere jaren.

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Thu Jun 22 2023
4

Oh to be 16 again. There's no way I can be impartial about this album because it was one of those that I listened to and loved as a teenager. And so every note has memories and emotions attached that have basically nothing to do with the album itself. And despite the 20 odd year gap, I still remember every note. Trying to be objective, I do really like this album. 4 kicks and The bucket are two standout songs, but there's not a bad song on the album. I know it's a bit rough, especially the vocals and there isn't perhaps a great variety in the music itself. But that's part of the charm, it's a good 00s indie rock album. It's probably a 3 star album, but I want to give it 5 stars for the memories. For 4 seems fair

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Tue Jun 27 2023
4

Said it before on Kings of Leon missed them first time around. Probably would have loved them if I was more actively listening at the time.

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Mon Jul 24 2023
4

I'm surprised to get two Kings of Leon albums and neither of them was the huge 2008 album that was super popular with my generation. Either way, this one was still really good with a good mix of emotional slow songs and some really fun fast-paced ones. I especially enjoyed King of the Rodeo and the Bucket. The previous album of theirs that I got came on after this one ended and I think I've grown to appreciate that one a bit more too.

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Thu Jul 27 2023
4

I like it. I'm so tired of Sex on Fire that I just tuned out these guys, but they make some good music.

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Sat Jul 29 2023
4

Feien evolució a petits pasos. Si el primer recuperava el rock de fortes arrels 70s, aquí ja començaven a deixar alguna pista del rock més contemporani i original que havien d'oferir molt aviat. Cançons més treballades, més madures i millor acabades que el debut

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Wed Aug 30 2023
4

I like it, although I prefer "Only By The Night" album.

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Thu Aug 31 2023
4

This was better than expected. I can imagine that this sounded new back then. I kinda like Caleb's voice. Didn't know they were a family band, omg. Only knew their radio singles. + King Of The Radio + Taper Jean Girl + Pistol Of Fire + Milk + Day Old Blues + Razz

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Thu Sep 07 2023
4

A nice and modern mixture of CCR and Zeppelin. It is a shame that they killed this vibe to be more mainstream.

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Sun Sep 10 2023
4

a pretty good mid-00s indie rock album. despite it's relatively short length, there's not a lot of variation here. a lot of the songs sound the same and are sort of the same tempo and feel. it's not bad, but it doesn't make for a super compelling album. i had never listened to one of their albums before, so this was a new experience. i can't say that listening to this one is going to amount to me going out of my way for more, but it wasn't awful. it's in the realm of the music that i liked back then and still like, but it just doesn't fully click for me.

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Thu Sep 28 2023
4

Would've been a 5 easy back in the day, but it's still very good even if some of that is nostalgia. This is the glory days of KOL back when you couldn't understand anything they said

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Sun Oct 01 2023
4

It was good. Keeping rock alive

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Thu Oct 05 2023
4

Remember hearing this around 2004/2005 as an advance thing. I’ve enjoyed it over the years. But always felt like KoL left a little to be seen. Like they only got part of the way to where they could have.

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Wed Oct 11 2023
4

I’m thoroughly charmed by this. Loose unpretentious rock. Some of the music is influenced by 70s/80s hard rock ("Taper Jean Girl," "Pistol of Fire") except they’re not playing it quite as hard. Kings of Leon follows more in the mold of Coldplay's mellow sound ("Milk") but their rhythm section also has this fun bounce that reminds me of the first Vampire Weekend album. It lends the music a good times vibe. (They literally sing "Let the good times roll" on "King of the Rodeo.") I love how short and sweet these songs are too. This is a very easy album to listen to. I can tell already I'm going to listen to it a bunch more.

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Fri Oct 13 2023
4

"Soft" has gotta be the hardest song about E.D. ever written.

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Fri Oct 20 2023
4

I can’t believe that I’ve ignored this band for 20 years. I loved this album. When I first started listening, I thought Caleb was singing in another language. Whatever. I live his voice. The drummer is great. The variety of styles on the album always keeps me engaged. I usually love brevity, so a dozen songs in 35 minutes isto be admired, although there are quite a few times here where the songs feel like they’ve been cut short by ill-advised editing. I can’t wait to check out their other albums. So many great trax on this one. And yes, sometimes they sound a helluva lot like The Strokes.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
4

I liked it a lot more than I expected Probably closer to a 3.5 though

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Thu Nov 02 2023
4

Lots of my favorite KOL songs. Great album front to back. His voice is less polished that later on and I like it that way.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
4

Ah, early Kings of Leon. How I've missed you. As a review once memory put it "a vocalist who sounds like he's gargling rock". I loved these guys first couple of albums, there was something very raw and gritty about them (plus, bonus fact, possibly the SWEATIEST gig I ever went to on a boiling hot London night at the Astoria). Yes, they went on to become stadium rock superstars, but the bluesy rock of the first couple of albums - magical.

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Sun Nov 05 2023
4

I'm having a difficult time rating this. Musically it's very very good, very much up my alley. Vocally ... baffling. But by a few songs in, I kind of settled into the singing voice and stopped hating it so much, and I ended up really liking the album. Kind of blowing my mind that I never tried to listen to this band back in the mid 00s but here we are.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
4

there's just something about 2000's alt-rock that I love. They can sound fresh, despite being released in such a time, while employing sounds that were at least a decade old. This album in particular has amazing guitars and bass, as well as irresistible grooves.

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Thu Nov 23 2023
4

Great album, nice to see it performed live. What was better was the music Kings of Leon put out after this.

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Fri Nov 24 2023
4

A lovely album, not mind blowing genius or trailblazing innovation, but well made, catchy, well sung and interesting to listen to. I can't really fault it.

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Fri Nov 24 2023
4

Ah the Follow-through brothers, what is it with Americans and their family bands? This has always been a put off for me for giving these a chance. The main issue with this lot is with Celeb's odd vocal style, but why do I? Probably unconscious bias again, being Americans and a sniff of inbreeding possibly? Maybe, maybe not. That said, I did come across them with 'The Bucket' when it was released, which I thought was pretty good at the time, then promptly forgot/ deliberately ignored them until they forced themselves into the collective public consciousness with that hideous 'Sex on Fire' song. On occasion I've wondered why they made it in the UK before the US, and after a brief enquiry, I may know now - they are hardly your average Nashville product. So definitely No Grand Ole Opry for this lot, must have made them a right buch of outcasts in Nashville, so im guessing Caleb chose a singing style far removed from your average musically inclined resident of that god-forsaken city. Discovering this fact has now made me much more amenable towards them! Anyway, had this in my collection for an eternity and now a have a reason to dig it out. It's actually pretty good and I can appreciate their talent as musicians, if not singers. It's a solid album, the best being; 'The Bucket', 'Pistol of Fire' and 'Rozz' and the garage rock sounding 'Four Kicks'. It's the sound of four brothers having a great time before the pressures of fame forced them to be more radio friendly. I really don't know what to give this in my enlightened state, this being a true benefit to doing this albums challenge. A generous low 4.

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Fri Nov 24 2023
4

There are some phenomenal tracks on this album. Taper Jean Girl, Razz, Pistol of Fire, Four Kicks and The Bucket have such hypnotic energy. These boys used to know how to write banging tunes. Also, they really know how to end their songs (guitar solo outro on Pistol of Fire as a great example) No slow fade outs just brilliant crescendos. I had to argue with my son and his KOL Suoerfan girlfriend about why I still couldn’t give it a 5 rating despite how much I adore most of this album. It’s because…. I can’t understand a fucking word Caleb sings, and lyrics mean a lot to me. He has a great tone and rasp to his voice but boy does he mumble. Or is that just a southern drawl? Later albums don’t seem so bad on that front. Either he learnt how to enunciate properly, or the recording / production improved. I did some more research on the song lyrics to try and learn what I was missing out on. Having read them, I’m largely still none the wiser about what he’s on about, and the bits I do understand are often a bit questionable. For example, the track ‘Soft’….. hmmm…. a song about drug induced erectile dysfunction my teenage son explains. That wasn’t awkward at all. And there’s also the track ‘Milk’. Just painful, yet they still manage a great outro! I’ll stick with my 4 rating and will continue to dance like nobody is watching whenever I play ‘Taper Jean Girl’. The Kings of Mumble Rock used to be an epic band and this is still a phenomenal album.

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Sat Nov 25 2023
4

better than i remembered. In hindsight it would have been nigh on impossible to write something as good as youth and young manhood.

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Fri Dec 08 2023
4

A classic for folk rock (i think). Kings of leon at their most original and abrasive sound. Some songs are hard bangers.

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Mon Dec 11 2023
4

Decent enough. Quite a bit different from what I expect from Kings of Leon, almost a mix between the garage rock of The Strokes and the silliness/funk of RHCP. I think the biggest letdown is the lyrics throughout the album since, like RHCP, they’re really all over the place and head scratching. 7/10

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Thu Dec 14 2023
4

I liked. This. A lot more than I expected to.

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Sat Dec 23 2023
4

Rock alternativo. No sé si ni fu ni fa o un 4. Venga, un 4 por el espíritu navideño de este día.

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Thu Dec 28 2023
4

This was a great trip down memory lane

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Fri Dec 29 2023
4

Rating: 8/10 Best songs: Slow night so long, Pistol of fire, Soft, Day old blues

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Wed Jan 03 2024
4

Tässä on menoa ja chilliä vibaa 🤌🏼 Taas sziget musaa, nice

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Sun Jan 07 2024
4

Sure, they sounded like The Strokes and The Black Crows had a love child, but I like The Strokes and The Black Crows. Though the eventually turn into mainstream rock darlings, this version of the band still is quite dirty and gets by on swagger and good ol' Southern boogie. Good fun with a six-pack of PBR in tow.

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Mon Jan 08 2024
4

Great album, musically speaking, I like their style. But I find the singer’s voice (Caleb Followill) mildly annoying, so they lost one star for that.

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