when i was around twelve years old i heard the strokes "is this it" record for the first time. it can easily be said; that album changed my life. a whole new world was opened to me, a world of tight fitting jeans, sloppily played guitars and ridiculously good looking women. since the strokes i have took off running and never looked back. but i remember a very particular day when i was still young and very influenceable and i googled "is this it".
what came up was a review by a website called "pitchfork" which i could only guess meant that they sifted their way through all the bullshit. well come to find out, no, they are pure bullshit. "is this it" was shit on the writers, giving the record a good score but basically saying they are not half as cool as people say they are. "no rock pioneers here" is basically the message they sent and i was a very distraught young teen. well almost a decade later me and a shit ton of other people can give a big "ha ha, fuck you, you were wrong" to pitchfork, because the strokes are simply one of the best bands in history, and i will stick to that statement my entire life.
okay, i will admit, sometimes they (at pitchfork) will be right on, like giving the new animal collective record almost a ten, (that record is damn near perfection, and i will have more on that later). also "juan's basement" is one of the best "vlogs" (video-blog, that word sounds sexual to me) every created, especially when the walkmen played.
but it just pains me to no end when pitckfork tears an album to shreds just to go against the "norm". FOR INSTANCE, pitckfork absolutely destroyed the new kings of leon album "only by the night". okay, i get it that frontman caleb followill loves to sing about sex, but that is fine with me. does sex ever get old? no. "sex on fire" annoyed me at first too, i thought they sold out, but by the third listen any hipster will be forced to uncross their arms, that song is just damn good. no matter how possibly trashy and how amazingly popular that song and kol are on both sides of the atlantic, they are a good band.
my specific point is that pitchfork gave "only by the night" a 3.8 out of 10. that record happens to be very listen-able record and almost any resourceful music listener will comment that kings of leon are pushing their boundaries in good directions on each album. my favorite kings album is "aha shake heartbreak" but i am very bias due to the fact i have listened to that album at least twice a week for the past five years. i really do love kings of leon. i have watched every single "home video" they published on youtube (watch them, search kings of leon only by the night home videos, they are hilarious and very informative) i have bought every kings album, every band i have ever been in has done a kings of leon cover and that is mainly because i can play every song from "aha" on the guitar. in fact i just saw kings of leon live last monday for the second time within six months. the kings are an amazing live band and caleb's voice echoes to every corner of whatever venue they play. my friend ended up meeting the band at a bar on msu campus later (the show was at the aud) and they bought her shots for her birthday, therefore, making them nice guys.
pitckfork rips on the new kol for cheesy lyrics, has anyone ever listened to bruce springsteen? his lyrics are pure cheese but the music is so fucking good you believe the boss, and the same is to be said with the kings. the lyrics may seem cheesy but really they are just honest and that what makes it beautiful music.
what bothers me the most is that next to "only by the nights" 3.8 the newest cold war kids album, "loyalty to loyalty" , received a 5.1. by no means in hell is the cold war kids album better than the kings of leon record. i love cold war kids also, their debut record "robbers and cowards" is one of the best of the 00's, but in all painful honesty, "loyalty to loyalty" is 75 percent junk. there are some really good songs on the cwks record, but even after repeated listens, there is no soul tying it all together. "against privacy" and "i've seen enough" are amazing songs on the cold war kids album, but that is about it. "revelry" is my favorite off "only by the night" but that is with an arsenal of other tracks, including singles "sex on fire", "use somebody" "manhattan", the inventive "closer" and the amazing dirty thick "crawl." i wrote very brief reviews of both records for my weekly column that i will repost on this blog very shortly after this post.
but every kings of leon album has a soul. because the followill brothers (and cousin) really give a fuck. they are actual nice guys from tennessee who happened to get lucky and ran with it in all sorts of directions, but they ran as hard and as fast as they could and that is why i tip my hat to them.
as for pitchfork, i give them a fat middle finger with fine print reading "get some better fucking writers". so heres to kings, heres to me, hint hint, maybe pitchfork should hire me.
3 days ago