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Album Review

Kings of Leon, 'Come Around Sundown'

October 18, 2010

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Five years and four albums into their career, Kings of Leon finally earned a fan base as big as their wide-open choruses. The Tennessee-bred rockers hadn’t been stagnant, but initially it was never clear where their Southern-fried garage rock would take them. To the top, it turned out. In 2008, “Only by the Night’’ hit Top 40 radio hard and eventually sold more than 6 million copies, vaulting the Kings from indie hopefuls to stadium rockers; even the Grammys came calling. Obviously, then, the pressure is on for “Come Around Sundown,’’ the band’s sturdy new album that doesn’t tread new ground — but it doesn’t tread water, either. Produced by the same team behind “Only by the Night,’’ its follow-up is more tentative, with the Followill brothers (and cousin Matthew on lead guitar) trying to figure out if they want to be the Allman Brothers (“Back Down South’’) or U2 (“The End’’). If not exactly cohesive, the album at least features some of the Kings’ most singular songs (particularly the ’60s-flavored “Mary’’) since their 2003 debut. It confirms that the group’s sudden success wasn’t overnight, but rather overdue. (Out tomorrow) JAMES REED

ESSENTIAL “Mi Amigo’’

Kings of Leon headline TD Garden Nov. 14.