Kings Of Leon – ‘Mechanical Bull’ – Album Review

11 thoughts on “Kings Of Leon – ‘Mechanical Bull’ – Album Review”

  1. Kings of Leon really stretched themselves thin with extensive touring and constantly working on promoting themselves to sell records. I think this album is a great example of a band that got too oversaturated and felt the negative consequences, stepped away to re-charge, and came back with the same tenacity and spirit that they once had before. It’s pretty cool. I think it’s a great album.


  2. I reckon you are being a tad harsh Lucas. I went cold on KOL after the first two albums, when they suddenly turned into some sort of U2 tribute band (albeit besting U2 in the process). I have given their last three albums a wide berth whilst they have become world mega stars. Having read a magazine review of Mechanical Bull though, I thought I would give them another spin, and was pleasantly surprised. They have gone too far down Mainstream Avenue for it to ever be as good and rough as their first two albums, but it is a slight return to form. I do agree that it sags a bit in the middle though!

    Good blog mate, keep up the good work.


    1. Hello Thomas – thanks very much for reading my review and for your comment – I really appreciate it!

      Perhaps I was a little harsh, but I do still stand by my comments regarding Mechanical Bull. I agree that perhaps they will never regain that youthful vitality that was so appealing on Youth & Young Manhood. However, I still feel like their most recent efforts have been a deflating experience to listen to. I wish it was better!

      Thanks again Thomas!


  3. I think personally that it’s impossibly unfair to compare a band to their previous work and essentially to ask them to re-do their old albums. If they were to try and “re-make” YAYMH or ASH people would criticize them for remaining stagnant. The music industry is a harsh one–I’m well aware of that–but it seems that Kings of Leon can’t win since their amazing early work.

    I do agree with much of what you said, or at least the sentiments of some of it, though I will agree with the above poster who said you might have been a bit harsh. While fans like you and I, who enjoyed the “old stuff”, are fans, those who liked CAS or OBTN are also fans and I think that Mechanical Bull retrieves some of their youthful vitality while still remaining “true” to their current direction thereby appealing to their entire fanbase. I’m not totally in favour of the “new” direction, but as artists they’re entitled to create whatever it is they feel represents their current ethos.

    They were new and different and exciting when they began–but I think it’s important to remember that they’ve changed from the runaway, party animal, booze hounds that they once were, and their sound is indicative of that. They have lost a bit of their edge sure, but if you’re constantly waiting for a return to the old form I think you’ll often be disappointed by album releases regardless of the band.

    And I have to disagree with your criticism of “Family Tree” on a personal level–that song rocks.

    Still, you’re definitely right in saying it’s not their best work. I think it’s better than Come Around Sundown and in that regard I feel it’s not so much a disappointing record as it is a missed opportunity for something more. I’m happier listening to it than I was to CAS, but it’s not the best. In the end, I’d call it a solid rock album, just not a very good KOL album.


    1. Hello Mike – thanks for reading my review and for taking the time to comment!

      I definitely agree with you regarding KOL losing some of their “edge” as they have matured and changed as a band. The reason I compared MB to their earlier material so much was because in the pre-release hype, the band frequently compared it to their earlier material themselves.

      My point was not that I wanted them to just re-hash out the same old sound over and over again, I said in my review that that would be very boring.

      I was just hoping that they could evolve in a way which would produce some material far better than what they are currently putting out. I agree with you that their “new” direction is certainly not as good as some of their sensational earlier work. Many bands fizzle out after sterling debuts, so its good to see the band still going – unfortunately I do feel that their material has suffered and dipped in quality these past years.

      But yes, Mechanical Bull was certainly an improvement on Come Around Sundown! So thats a positive to take away.

      Once again, thanks very much for reading! I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read what I’ve written.

      All the best 🙂


  4. Lucas I couldn’t disagree more. I think Mechanical Bull is incredibly balanced, polished and wonderful. For me, their first two albums were great, but no their best. I would point to Because of the Times, Only by the Night and Mechanical Bull being at the top. CASD is their weakest. Overall, I believe KOL is an elite rock band of our generation and will only get better. Have you seen their live show? Absolutely phenomenal.

    My Review:


  5. This record and band is so boring it’s beyond belief. Even life, they are an uninspired snoozefest – punch the clock much, guys? People still clinging to this band (or, you Wade, referring to them as “elite” and a generational high water mark) are increasingly coming off as completely deluded, or desperate to defend a band that meant something to them 3-4 records ago. Get your ass out of the stadiums and go see some small club/bar shows, and I promise you this: there are acts out there playing $8 shows that will reconfigure your grey matter compared to the safe, adult-contemporary “rock” pablum KoL is phoning-in at this point. Get out of the past and stop holding these tired dudes up as anything more than their label’s revenue stream. The magic’s long gone.


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