Aha! This One Works!
The bearers of the Great American Party Soundtrack, the Kings of Leon, have brought forth their second album Aha Shake Heartbreak. This new effort could have been lost in the sophomore slump, a musical Bermuda Triangle; where bands get lost in their own egos, stop writing new music, and start plagiarizing their own work. Luckily for the Kings, this didnâ€šÃ„Ã´t happen. They have kept chugging away, like a rock and roll steam engine, gaining momentum and covering ground they havenâ€šÃ„Ã´t previously seen.The band has evolved quite a bit from their first album. They are no longer merely an addition to the Rock Revival movement, basing their success on simple classic rock-induced songs, sounding like Led Zeppelin wannabes. Their crunchy melodies are more complex with avant-garde rhythms and sound effects, as in â€šÃ„ÃºKing of the Rodeoâ€šÃ„Ã¹. Thus, they are briskly moving down a path already trod by bands like Modest Mouse, but with their own sense of style. Lead singer Caleb Followill plays up his unconventionally deep voice by using different inflections and testing out alternative tonalities, which is evident in songs like â€šÃ„ÃºTaper Jean Girlâ€šÃ„Ã¹.
Kings of Leon have not completely strayed from their original design. They still have their strong classic rock influences. Songs like â€šÃ„ÃºFour Kicksâ€šÃ„Ã¹ have solid instrumentals that could have been off of Youth and Young Manhood, but are bound with a thick tangle of fast-flowing lyrics, bringing a fresh element into the mix. This works very well for the Kings; mixing the old with the new, creating a style that fits them. It will be impressive to see them continue this way in future albums.