00s rockstars are officially back after 10 years of mediocrity

00s rockstars are officially back after 10 years of mediocrity

The Kings of Leon are back (Picture: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Can We Please Have Fun has recaptured the devil-may-care feel of the Kings of Leon’s early work, and as the title suggests, has given the band – who got temporarily lost in a sea of pop-rock mediocrity – a new purpose

Following three albums of meh – and I feel can say that, as a die-hard Kings of Leon fan – Caleb, Nathan, Matthew, and Jared are back on track. 

After the punk-rock roots of 2003’s Youth and Young Manhood, their (in my opinion) best album Aha Shake Heartbreak, and the versatile, epic Because of the Times – things got a little bit naff. 

Let’s face it – Sex on Fire is crap. Even Caleb hates it. Generally their most commercially successful songs, with the exception of Taper Jean Girl and Molly’s Chamber, lack the oomph of their best work. 

But I can now whisper that the oomph could be – fingers crossed, touch wood – back in Can We Please Have Fun. 

While Mustang – their first single from the album – is euphorically defiant, it does suffer from toe-curling chorus lyrics, ‘Are you a Mustang or a kitty?’ that scream midlife, but hey, at least they’re having fun. 

After years of mediocrity, Can We Please Have Fun includes some of the band’s early roar which won them an obsessive fanbase (Picture: Buda Mendes/Getty Images,)

Diehard Kings of Leon fans love them most for their early work (Picture: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Having cringed at this, I assumed the rest of the album was an extension of their last uninspiring three – until I heard Nowhere to Run. 

This singable, swaggering song should be the band’s central buzzword equivalent going forward if they’re not sure what to do. But while it’s got a Kings of Leon strut to it – and Caleb’s ever-gravelly, irresistible voice – this tune still doesn’t have the roar of their early albums. But a few songs later, and I’m eating my words. 

Enter Nothing To Do, the surprising eighth song, which – for the first time in over a decade – captures the Kings Of Leon’s rowdy old days. Meanwhile, their more downbeat tracks – Easy On Me and Seen – are genuinely interesting; almost psychedelically relaxing and atmospheric, rather than lazily easy-breezy or overly candid, as with their recent offerings. 

Perhaps the bandmates – mostly all now coupled up with supermodels – were just happy when it came to writing Come Around Sundown in 2010, which marked a shift for the band with the guttural angst of Charmer and Four Kicks replaced by the content country sway of Birthday and Back Down South. 

The brothers (and their cousin Matthew) formed in 1999 (Picture: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Now they’re having fun again (Picture: Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images)

While 2010’s Come Around Sundown was a sweet mouse of an album compared to their early lion-like presence, Can We Please Have Fun is their best since. They’ve shaken off the heavy shackles of trying to be grown-ups, and are, in true dad fashion, ready to let loose and have fun once more. 

Mechanical Bull (2013), Walls (2016) and When You See Yourself (2021) were so unremarkable even a pigeon would have too much character to compare them too. But this 2024 album is their phoenix: I just hope it’s going to have a very long life and grow lots of large, bold feathers. 

I met one of my best friends in the world by commenting on their Kings of Leon mug in University halls, and enthusiastically presenting them with my ominous On Call poster. My boyfriend and I forged a friendship based almost entirely on Kings of Leon. I still get a lump in my throat while listening to Milk and King of the Radio. The obsession was real – and it still is for many die hard fans when it comes to their old work. 

But we’ve been bored into apathy for years now. Can We Please Have Fun is the first time in a decade I’ve heard the Followills’ personality in their music. 

So thank you Matthew, Caleb, Jared, and Nathan for this latest offering – because we’re now having fun again too. 

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *