Kings of Leon – ‘Radioactive’
Yesterday, Kings of Leon unveiled the lead single from their upcoming fifth album, Come Around Sundown. The song, ‘Radioactive’ will be familiar to avid KoL fans, as the band has played it many times during their live shows this summer. In its live version, the song had a nice raw feel to it, with wonderful peaks and troughs, making for an interesting listening experience. New songs always have a hard time finding their feet live amongst old standards, but on stage, ‘Radioactive’ seemed to hold its own.
The same can’t be said for the finished, polished version. The single, and accompanying video premièred yesterday on Kings of Leon’s official website, and seem to have come straight out of the Because of the Night songbook. It’s a far cry from the urgency of the songs on their debut album (such as ‘Molly’s Chambers’ or ‘Red Morning Light’), but worse, it’s even a let down from their last record, Only By The Night.
This is Kings of Leon-lite, the bland, radio-friendly pop that will appeal to a mass audience, while causing no offence. Remember last year on X Factor when Jamie Archer sang ‘Sex on Fire’? Well, ‘Radioactive’ feels like someone doing a poor, watered-down version of Kings of Leon. Even Jamie Afro’s take on their uber-hit had more appeal.
It’s hard to blame the producers for the song, as they’re the same duo who produced Kings of Leon’s redemptive fourth record, but if one thing is true, it’s that this song is overproduced. There’s too much sheen, and not enough dirty rock underneath. Hopefully the rest of the record, due October 15th in Ireland, will make up for this.