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Kings of Leon : Can We Please Have Fun Review

Kings of Leon : Can We Please Have Fun Review

by Steven Miller

Kings-of-Leon-Sound-In-ReviewThe Kings of Leon have carved a unique niche in the rock landscape, blending Southern authenticity with arena-rock ambitions. Their latest offering, Can We Please Have Fun, released on May 10, 2024, under Capitol Records, sees the band at their most liberated and playful. Produced by Kid Harpoon, known for his work with Harry Styles and Florence + the Machine, this album reflects a band rekindling their passion for music while exploring new sonic territories.

Rooted in rock and pop, Can We Please Have Fun spans various styles, from alternative/indie rock to Southern rock. The album is a testament to the band’s versatility, showcasing their ability to blend raw, freewheeling energy with somber, reflective moods. The Followill brothers and their cousin Matthew have crafted a collection of songs that feel fresh while still staying true to their gritty origins.

“Ballerina Radio” opens the album opens with an ethereal guitar part, building steadily with a robust bass line and Caleb Followill’s emotive vocals. The song crescendos into a solid British rock feel, showcasing the band’s knack for suspenseful and ambiguous lyrics. It’s reminiscent of the atmospheric depth of 80s Brit rock,” yet distinctly rooted in Kings of Leon’s Southern rock heritage.

With elements of punk, “Rainbow Ball” features aggressive guitar riffs, thumping bass, and rolling drums. Followill’s vocal range is impressive, matching the song’s energetic and developing aggression. The track channels the raw power of early punk legends like The Ramones, infused with the band’s British Southern grit.

Nowhere to Run highlights Kings of Leon’s songwriting formula, juxtaposing a light halftime feel in the verse with a driving, energetic chorus. The textured guitar parts and emotive vocals add depth and interest, reminiscent of the dynamic shifts found in the classic rock catalog.

A standout track, “Mustang,” combines Southern rock and punk elements with intricate guitar parts and expressive vocals. Caleb’s upper register, grittily sung chorus, and the growling bass make this a memorable, stylish groove. It harks back to the raw energy of their early days, akin to their breakout hit “Molly’s Chambers.”

With a clean, syncopated guitar accompaniment and warm vocal tone, “Actual Daydream” delivers a medium rock vibe with ska and Southern rock influences. The background vocals in the chorus add a new dimension, evoking the layered harmonies of celebrated British rockers.

Delving into British pop rock with American rock ‘n’ roll elements, “Split Screen” features a steady strum pattern that adds fullness and rhythmic drive. “Don’t Stop The Bleeding” offers a new sound within the album’s program, with Followill’s vocal timbre change and added effects. The complimentary guitar parts create a light and enjoyable listening experience.

“Nothing to Do” is another fun rocker from Kings of Leon that we know and love, with textured guitars, a slightly distorted driving bass, and bombastic drums. Followill’s vocals are powerful and emotive, making it a fun and energetic track that channels the anthemic spirit of their hit “Use Somebody.”

M Television” is a British New Wave-vibed tune that showcases Followill’s expressive singing with impressive glissandos. The song’s various textures and feels add interest and flow, making it upbeat and fun. “Hesitation Generation” opens with a big guitar intro; this track is a solid British rock excursion. Followill’s controlled screams in the melody sections drive the energy and shape of the theme, complemented by a melodic guitar solo. It brings to mind the anthemic qualities of The Who at their peak.

“Ease Me On” returns to a more pop aesthetic; this track features a slight lo-fi vibe, blending 50s rock ‘n’ roll with Alternative sounds. The production returns to the rich and full sounds characteristic of the album. Ending the journey with a moody groove, “Seen” showcases the band’s craftsmanship in creating songs with varied textures, catchy riffs, and memorable melodies. It provides a feeling of closure, wrapping up the album on a solid note.

Can We Please Have Fun is a nuanced and liberated record that sees Kings of Leon embrace their roots while exploring new horizons. Kid Harpoon’s production adds graceful notes of ambiance, allowing the band’s raw, athletic energy to shine through. Tracks like “Mustang” and “Split Screen” highlight the band’s ability to blend their gritty origins with contemporary influences, creating a nostalgic and forward-looking sound.

While the album showcases the band’s playful and experimental side, it also maintains a sense of cohesion and purpose. The familial bond among the Followills is palpable, adding depth and authenticity to their music. Can We Please Have Fun is a promising and liberated record, marking a new chapter in Kings of Leon’s illustrious career. It’s an invitation to revel in life’s chaos and find joy in the music, a sentiment that resonates throughout the album.


Dover Quartet: Website

Artist Name

Kings of Leon

Album Title

Can We Please Have Fun

Release Date

May 10, 2024


Capitol Records

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Steven Miller
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