Before taking their break, Kings of Leon released Come Around Sundown which if anything proved that even with diminished drive, they guys can still write good songs. But Mechanical Bull reminds us of what the difference is between good and great. The album will appease modern rock fans thanks to heavy riffs on songs like "Don't Matter" and "Supersoaker". But it's their versatility to shift sonic textures on Mechanical Bull that make this album irresistible. Just follow the rolling bass line to a funky "Family Tree", a minor tip of the cap to Sly & the Family Stone, and listen as their southern roots hold strong on songs like "Comeback Story".
The centerpiece of Mechanical Bull, however, may be the pensive ballad "Beautiful War". While the energy on the majority of the album will tempt fans to compare it to the band's early efforts, "Beautiful War" plays witness to their maturity. More specifically, it captures Caleb Followill's re-established focus as songwriter, and finds him at the top of his game. Motivated once again, Kings of Leon recapture their rock and roll crown on Mechanical Bull.
Review By Mike Vasilikos