I’ve been putting off listening to Come Around Sundown. I haven’t been in the greatest mood lately and I don’t want that to affect the listening. (Like The Magnetic Fields’ I, which I got into during my period of desperate homesickness in New York and now associate primarily with sobbing. But on this rainy night, I finally feel it is time to experience what Lauren Morris calls “the chillest chillwave ever.”
1. The End: The thing I love about this band is their proficiency. Four extremely competitive boys driven to outdo each other. This isn’t some metal god, crazy stuff. Just enough happening to keep you listening. This song is definitely going on my Sarah’s Cheering Section mix. “I just wanna hold your hand and tell you that you’re good enough.”
2. Radioactive: We all know this song! It has the video that reminds you that what all Followills want most is BABIES. Also, I don’t know why this song is called “Radioactive.” Actually, I have no idea what it’s about. “Just drink the water where you came from.” I can’t tell if this is metaphor or implying that water is magic.
3. Pyro: The songs on this album are a little down. But I guess Caleb’s always like that. “I won’t ever be your cornerstone.” I am glad once again that I’m not his fiancee.
4. Mary: This is the song I’ve been looking forward to hearing. I read in … something that this was the favorite song of the girlfriends for years. And now I realize that it’s the Teenage Death Song I’ve been hearing live.
5. The Face: “If you give up New York, I’ll give you Tennessee, the only place to be.” It’s hard not to hear this one as a sentimental ballad for Caleb’s fiancee. So maybe he’s got pros. Also, Caleb’s voice sounds much stronger and clearer on this album.
6. The Immortals: This is definitely a quieter, chiller album. Not a single honky tonk anthem about beating people up yet! There’s a couple of slow jam anthems, though. Like this one. You can imagine British girls crying as they sing it in a mob of 80,000 other people.
7. Back Down South: IT’S THE SONG! The song that made me lament that I had to wait for the record when I saw them back in the summer. Plus, they’ve added a fiddle. Huh, recorded, it’s basically a country song. But the good kind. KOL has possibly made a record that my grandmother will like. This might render it too soft for my mom. Time will tell.
8. Beach Side: There’s a weird delicate sound on this that sounds like surf guitar. Which I guess is the point.
9. No Money: This also sounds familiar. Oh, it’s just that the riff is classic KOL, but the vocal part is kinda classic Springsteen. I dig it.
10. Pony Up: Cute name symmetry. Jared was talking in their release day interviews about how one of the songs had bass part so hard that he wasn’t going to be able to play it live. This is definitely it. It’s great, though, a kind of overlapping shared melody between the bass and lead guitar. But it forces Jared up to Matt’s level.
11. Birthday: This song has the same central conceit of 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.” Just pointing that out.
12. Mi Amigo: This one blends into the others a little bit. But it’s about having a friend good enough to get you drunk when you need to get drunk, tells you look cute and picks you up out of the gutter and takes you home. And it’s about a girl, which makes it the single gayest song Caleb Followill has ever written.
13. Pickup Truck: Oh man. This song is about getting into a fistfght in a bar parking lot. Pretty sure. “I said ‘You call that a pickup truck?’” Then there’s a bloody tooth and swollen eyes. I have to take back what I said earlier about drunken fights in honky tonks.
The Verdict: I like it, but Lauren was right. Super chill. This is take-a-girl-home music. The real question is: Is this too chill for my mom?