On this day ten years ago Kings Of Leon released Come Around Sundown, their fifth album and the follow up to the triumphant Only By The Night. It performed well in the charts but I think this may in part be down to its hugely successful predecessor and unfortunately disguises the reality that it’s one of the least talked about albums by the American rock giants, which is a shame because it really is great.
The album title and artwork for this album perfectly personifies its relaxed, reflective mood, and if listened through from start to finish on a long journey with the image of a sunset pouring over a beach in mind, the listener is in for an enjoyable experience. Come Around Sundown doesn’t have commercially renowned hits like many of their other albums do, but looking at the album as a concept there’s little to complain about. Here are my five favourites from Come Around Sundown:
An oasis amongst a string of fillers in the latter half of the album, Birthday is a frisky, care-free song with an upbeat tempo and a catchy chorus. It makes you want to dance and will put a smile on your face.
Pyro is one of the slower numbers on the album and more than any other track demonstrates the huge impact of the drums. The melody is pleasant and continuous but when the drums explode around the three minute mark it gives this song an extraordinarily powerful outro.
Admittedly this is the only song from the album that I actually knew before this week…having said that, there’s a reason it was the first single from the album and that’s because it’s a fantastic song! It’s probably the most commercially friendly song from Come Around Sundown, but its optomistic vibe and sing-along chorus makes it one of the best too.
2. The Immortals
This is where things really start to heat up for me…while the other three songs in this top 5 are great tracks for the album, The Immortals and the next song are already becoming two of my favourite songs from the band’s entire discography. The passion and sustained vocals in the chorus are outstading, and the contrast of the funky, fast-paced verses and the slower, emotional choruses is impressive.
1. Back Down South
Prior to writing this article, not only was I unware that this song was a single, but I also didn’t realise that it was a staple on the band’s setlist for a while either. I can absolutely see why though – it’s just brilliant. I love the country feel with the subtle acoustic guitar and violin, the slow build up, the harmonies, and the sense that this song really means a lot to them and they had a great time recording it (listen out for the cheers at the end). There are so many layers to this song and is without a doubt one of my favourite Kings of Leon songs.
That brings us to the end of another Top 5 article and I can confidently say that I thoroughly enjoyed giving this album a proper chance. I feel guilty for overlooking it in the past and am glad I’ve been able to discover a couple of gems in The Immortals and Back Down South. If you’ve listened to this album before and agree or disagree with my ranking I’d love to hear about your favourite tracks!