This is the album in which the hirsute Kings of Leon finally loan out their sound to an Editors-ready arena crowd. Throw an audience track in the background and Only by the Night could be their Rattle and Hum.
Essentially a funhouse mirror of 2007’s far superior Because of the Times, Only by the Night stumbles under the weight of its ambitions by lacking the songs necessary to support them. With the exception of “Use Somebody” and the fuzzcrunched hipgrinder “Crawl,” the band’s desire for forward momentum has superceded their evolution.
This is the album that’s supposed to be the aural epilogue released after spending ten years at the top of the heap, not the prologue that slips out just before the band was about to get there.