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The Kings Of Leon - Youth & Young Manhood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ian Todd   
27 10 2004

ImageAttempting to ignore the hype surrounding a new band in order to review their music objectively is like trying to shit through the eye of a needle. Once the media moguls have sunk their talons into a band it kinda becomes like product placement in the best sense of the marketing phrase. You don't actually know why you like them, you just know that for some reason life would hurt without them. And so, we have The Kings of Leon - potentially the next victims of this in-house corporate rock consumption by-product of what the music industry has developed into - a decent band with some strong songs and good ideas, but an overdose-sized wad of publicity smothered on top. I think I'd like and appreciate them more if I wasn't constantly being told that I should like and appreciate them. Their music expresses freedom and life, a scent of long since departed, yet often hopelessly recreated, 60's American rock history. So let me find this out for myself! Let me make the connections between them and xxxxxx? Please, 'The Music Industry', don't spoon feed me another fly-by-night, here-today, gone-tomorrow, your-excuse for entertainment. Bands who set themselves up to be genuine musicians, with pure creative talent and a way of expressing that via their work, don't need an industry bump-start such as the music press and the advertisers provide. By the very nature of the music they play and the attitude they express, we can - if they're genuine enough - believe a whole lot more in a band, as opposed to having them drilled constantly into our too often gullible and susceptible heads. Precisely this is what stifles bands like The Kings Of Leon before they've even had a chance to develop and mature at their own pace. The danger comes, like with so many recent 'Number 1 Favourite' bands who seem to change on a weekly basis, when the preamble exhausts a band before they've even progressed to a second album (I quote you The Strokes, as a prime example). Bands that are released as 'Your New Favourite' need to be allowed to justify this if they are to live up to such a reputation (the reputation earned by the true rock 'n' roll greats) - not just fall onto the corporate production line that pressurises and labels a band prematurely. This trait means instead of waiting for their artists to make their art, the corporation is almost making it for them. The hype, the hysteria, this search for the 'next big thing', is simply killing the spirit of these hardworking, talented musicians, who for the most part will sure as damn-it despise what their 'global-brand-image' unwittingly has turned them into. And if they don't, then they can burn in the fires alongside every marketing department under the sun.


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