Youth & Young Manhood by Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon | Youth & Young Manhood | Rating: 10.5/11 |

Released: August 19, 2003

While the opening track off of Kings of Leon’s debut album, Youth & Young Manhood, claims “nobody’s even listening to ya,” that statement is far from the truth. Youth & Young Manhood is an infectious album with simple chords, a classic southern blues rock feel, and a singing technique close to that of Janis Joplin. Although I will admit that this album took some growing into. Not that it wasn’t good at first, it just didn’t fully grab me until the second or third spin. However, it only takes one visit to their live show to get you hooked, but that’s another story altogether. 

Youth & Young Manhood is one of those albums that every spin of it leaves you with a new favorite track. “Happy Alone” and “Joe’s Head” are probably my overall favorite tracks. “Happy Alone” has that simplistic tone during the verses that easily reels you in. Then the chorus kicks off and it’s like an emotional whirlwind of music. “Joe’s Head” besides providing powerful lyrics on the subject of revenge on a cheating partner also becomes a favorite for Caleb’s, the 21 year old lead vocalist and guitar player, screaming vocal technique he kicks into halfway through the song. “Trani” is the groove track on the album that spends most of its time building you up for the climatic musical release at the end. It’s a track that brings back the ‘you tell it, uh huh’ vibe that a lot of the best blues songs bring about. Other notable tracks include “Holy Roller Novocaine,” “Spiral Staircase,” “Wasted Time,” and “California Waiting.” Actually, all the tracks on this album are note-worthy. Even the hidden track that appears after the last track around eight minutes and 21 seconds should be considered a highlighted feature to this album. 

Kings of Leon have once again shown that family bands seem to know where it’s at, musically that is. You can tell that each of the brothers (and their first cousin) are in tune with each other musically and mentally speaking. They know where everyone has come from and they are able to key in on that and build one heck of a masterpiece of an album. Youth & Young Manhood is definitely a must purchase album for 2003.

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