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Album Review: Kings of Leon - WALLS

By Diana Powers, Contributor

[RCA; 2016]

Rating: 4/10

Key Tracks: "Waste a Moment," "Muchacho"

Kings of Leon is not a particularly innovative band. Their sound has always been akin to the “safe,” oftentimes repetitive sound of Foo Fighters and similar bands. Their 2008 hits “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire” weren’t anything to rave about, but even those tracks do not match the level of mediocrity present throughout Kings of Leon’s seventh studio album, WALLS (an acronym for "We Are Like Love Songs," a phrase that makes no sense whatsoever). The slick, overproduced sound makes WALLS Kings of Leon’s most commercial, yet downright boring release to date.

The opening track “Waste a Moment” is by far the best moment on WALLS. The chorus is catchy and the upbeat drums and guitar line make the track very energetic. “Waste a Moment” fools listeners into thinking WALLS might be a somewhat entertaining album. Unfortunately, what follows is frankly a mind-numbingly uninspiring 42 minutes one can never get back.

“Over” is the longest track on the album at 6:11, which is about four minutes too long. It drags on without ever going in an interesting direction. Evident by the title, “Muchaco” has a Latin influence, which doesn’t fully work in a Kings of Leon song. That being said, the Latin-style percussion adds intrigue to an otherwise boring track. While not a very good song, “Muchacho” stands out as a highlight simply by the Latin-percussion, which adds a somewhat interesting sound. The title and closing track, “WALLS,” is perhaps the most boring track on an overall boring album. A slow ballad, “WALLS” does not reach any sort of high point or climax; it closes out the album on a very underwhelming note.

Kings of Leon’s’ fatal flaw on WALLS is their lack of intrigue. While past albums such as Come Around Sundown or Only by the Night were not the greatest, they were at least somewhat energetic. At 42 minutes, WALLS isn’t a particularly long album; yet its uninspiring, bland sound makes it near impossible to last all 42 minutes and may be one of the dullest albums of the year thus far.

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