It gets a little nebulous when you try to explain why Mechanical Bull is the best Kings of Leon album since Aha Shake Heartbreak. It’s not that the Followill boys have drastically changed anything about either their sound or persona. Perhaps it’s that their Southern sensibilities have finally leveled out with their unexpected alt-rock fame. They’re not reacting to being “big” anymore. They aren’t giving interviews to British rock mags about how they beat the shit out of each other because they think that’s what made them “authentic.” The real answer is as simple as the foundation this band was built on. Mechanical Bull is just fucking fun.
Much like the album’s namesake, you can expect a good time, every time. From songs like the bluesy porch-tune “Rock City” to the country-tinged “Comeback Story,” Mechanical Bull is an album built to be performed live. And that’s exactly what we want from the Kings – a chance to gather up our friends and a few substances and just forget our lives while getting lost in Caleb Followill’s tales. It’s the sound of Kings of Leon realizing that sometimes where you were is better than where you ended up. — Absolute Punk