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Kings of Leon

December 17, 2008

KINGS OF LEON

The Followills, three brothers and a cousin from Tennessee raised by an evangelical priest, were forbidden to listen to anything but gospel, and home schooled by their mother. How could these four boys, each sprinkled with Elvis dust all come from the same gene pool? Given their back-story you have to question, is this some divine intervention or did their parents make a deal with the devil? In the world of rock n’ roll you tend to think the latter but only hope that God will prevail and keep these boys from going down the path of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, or Kurt Cobain. This hope stems from their God-fearing upbringing and the fact they have each other to keep them grounded.

You have to wonder why their home country has not embraced the Followills the way the Europeans have. Americans are accustomed to the ramblings of evangelist preachers praising the lord over television waves “God will heal for a mere $10 donation”. It leaves you leery of a scam. Will they draw us in, win our faith then shatter the dream?

It’s not hard to question how such a perfect Rock n’ Roll package came to be. Caleb, the lead singer who can lay out lyrics that make you think he has the life experience of a man in his 90’s. A face so pretty you question whether his songs about transvestites may actually be about him. Jared, who’s actions remind us of a young Keith Richards but with the looks of a “Teen Beat” heartthrob. Nathan, who you give a pass to for the cheesy water shot in the “Sex on Fire” video ’cause lets face it, the man is a god; and Mathew, the cousin with the rosy cheeks and sweet smile who’s guitar skills deliver the same visceral feeling as the kiss you swear is directly connected to your loins.

These traits and skills make you doubt the authentic biological force of these boys, but then you watch the “Only By the Night Home Movies,” and the perfect package reveals its’ flaws. Some of their actions conjure up the stereotypical southern redneck bumpkins such as bathing in a creek and old men in overalls. You realize that they aren’t brooding rock stars all serious about the music 24/7, but young men with little American boy moments like running around naked, playing practical jokes, or going to a college football game in their matching t-shirts and foam fingers. You wonder how Caleb comes up with lyrics so smart when at 26 he finally asks the question “where do babies come from?” while using the John Travolta movie “Look Who’s Talking,” as a visual reference. These are the moments that make them all the more endearing; this is the hook that reels us in.

I can honestly say I am converted and my prayers are that they play it right and not get caught up in the unreal parts. I hope none of them crash and burn by drugs and alcohol and know their limits and keep it in their pants once in a while. Also know when to retire the tight jeans and long hair because no one likes to see an aging rock star trying to hold on. That they not obsess but enjoy the ride and never lose the vulnerable side we see in each of their long lashed baby blues. I hope they stay true to their word and keep the music honest and pure.
May their congregation grow and thrive and make us all regain our faith in the higher power of Rock n’ Roll, but until then I will be at the foot of their rock star altar with my hands in the air and my face pointed up as a believer and follower…or “followiller” as the case may be.

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One Response to “Kings of Leon”

  1. mama2mm Says:

    I love this!! I’ve actually seen your sentence about Matthew quoted on a forum I frequent. You’re famous!


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