When Radiohead released In Rainbows (QRO review) way back in 2008, the somewhat underwhelming (for them) record was destined to be remembered more for its ‘pay-what-you-want’ model. Nowadays, it’s more about different ways to get paid, such as NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, a type of unique crypto-currency that can make anything digital into a unreproducible work of art. Kings of Leon have become the first act to release an album as an NFT, When You See Yourself, but forget all that for what is another good, at times great, Leon release.
Maybe the Kings of Leon will never match their early ‘00s breakthrough high (akin to their northern cousins, The Strokes), but they’re still trying, and occasionally make it into the same neighborhood. The emotional uplift of “Bandit” is classic Leon, as is the southern indie-rock push upward of “Golden Restless Age”. There’s lots of sweet sadness on Yourself, such as “Claire & Eddie” and “Time in Disguise” – perhaps a bit too much, as the release could use a touch more of the anthemistic “Sex On Fire” Leon.
Continuing the band’s rebound seen in prior record Walls (QRO review), Kings of Leon are finally comfortable in their own skin & sound, twenty-first century rockers delivering what their many fans are looking for, whether on vinyl or crypto-digital.