The new album “Mechanical Bull” from Kings of Leon is sturdy, but hardly ever takes any chances. With the title such as it is, one would expect a more exciting ride, and yet the band keeps it safe and mid-tempo with this sixth full-length.
Songs like sweetly melodic “Wait for Me” and the badass bassline from “Family Tree” get lost in the shuffle of over-mastered middlers. Single “Supersoaker” proves to have staying power but good will is lost by song two, “Rock City,” which has about as much rock as its kindred Counting Crows” “Hanginaround.”
“Comeback Story” has every opportunity to break out, too, had the band allowed itself to tear away from its four traditional instruments, and perhaps that”s part of the problem. This band of brothers (and a cousin) sound slick and comfortable and when one stretches out – like singer Caleb Followill playing with his higher register on “Tonight” and cheeky lyrics on “Temple,” or when they bust out something to dance to on “Coming Back Again.” They should fight off the guitar lines and solos that mirror vocal lines exactly, or shoot for a more daring mix on vocals. Instead, it”s much of the same as before, with a couple of stragglers shooting for single status.