Kings Of Leon – Mustang

The early 2000s was a truly special time for music. It was Red Hot Chili Peppers loose-limbed crooning and Death Cab For Cutie when indie music was truly independent. It was Fall Out Boy with their poetic song titles and My Chemical Romance bringing back glam rock. And of course, there was Kings Of Leon sweating and writhing through “Sex on Fire” with the kind of shout chorus that is inarguably rock and roll destined to be a classic. 

Kings Of Leon are already classed with the best of the early 2000s, and like their contemporaries, they are staging a very unexpected and very welcome comeback with their upcoming album Can We Please Have Fun, out May 10th, featuring just released single “Mustang.”

Frontman Caleb Followil’s powerful voice has not diminished in the past decade, but “Mustang” comes with significantly less angst than their previous hits “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” It’s a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has watched My Chemical Romance return to the stage and Green Day hit us with a contemporary remix of the legendary single “American Idiot” – something about the years in between has instilled these classic rock bands with newfound confidence. 

Of their upcoming album, Followill says “ It was the most enjoyable record I’ve ever been a part of.” Bandmate Nathan Followill agreed, adding: “It’s like we allowed ourselves to be musically vulnerable… I love it when a rock band is not embarrassed to admit that every song doesn’t have to be on 11.”

There is something certainly a bit more natural and laid back about “Mustang,” a single that is really just an observation of urban life than anything else. If “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody” were filled with yearning and loneliness, “Mustang” is an ode to community and companionship. Followill excels and injecting as much grief and strain into his voice as humanly possible, but there is something pleasant about hearing his voice rise and soar with joy as he dances on top of buildings in the “Mustang” music video. 

I am not one of those people who thinks that music goes downhill with every generation. We have so many talented artists bringing about unique takes on each genre of music, and we are so lucky for that. But we are even luckier to have the opportunity to return to those favorites we had believed forgotten. Kings of Leon are finally ready to have fun.