808s / The UK's Greatest Hits

The UK’s Greatest Hits: 33. Only By the Night – Kings Of Leon


Only By The Night – Kings Of Leon – 2008

First listen?: Yes

I thought that Kings Of Leon were much heavier than this, but turns out they are just Pop Rock sweethearts in the end. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I went into Only By The Night thinking it would be much more like epic lead single Sex On Fire than it actually is. Tracks like Manhattan and Revelry have a folky, even country feel to them, while I Want You is pretty quaint for a band often associated with huge stadium shows. It’s all about the opening though, with the haunting Closer and growling Crawl leading into 2 of the biggest hits of the century. Listening to Sex On Fire is still an electric experience. Lead singer Caleb’s performance here is insane, with vocals that soar one second and are full of grit and passion the next. It’s one of those modern rock songs that doesn’t deny the listener of huge singalong moments despite being grungy and thumping. Use Somebody is just as huge, but in a much less aggressive way. It’s an emotional rock song and sits alongside Sex On Fire perfectly here. The two hits are reason enough for Only By The Night to find itself on this list, but as 00s rock albums go, it’s a great listen all round. It loses its way a little once Use Somebody ends, but stadium rock rarely feels as emotive as this.

Rating: 7/10

Will I listen again?: Maybe, it’s not totally my thing, but I certainly enjoyed my first time through Only By The Night.

Best Track: Use Somebody

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