Until fairly recently, Nashville’s Kings of Leon was one of the biggest American bands in the world that most Americans had never actually heard of. After four albums, this alt-rock quartet (think U2 meets Lynyrd Skynyrd) draws borderline Beatle-esque attention in England and Australia. The band—composed of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill, along with cousin Matthew Followill—has become a bona fide rock phenomenon overseas, complete with all the excessive trappings that come with it.
Here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.? Not so much.
But that’s changing, especially as “Use Somebody,” the second single from Only by the Night, climbs the charts.
“Use Somebody” showcases one potent side of the band’s personality: raw, unfiltered yearning. Amid an apparent glut of opportunities for sex (“Countless lovers under cover of the street”), Caleb seems unsatisfied (“I’ve been roaming around, I was looking down at all I see/Painted faces fill the places I can’t reach”). His conclusion: “You know that I could use somebody/Someone like you.”
Whoever this person is, the singer seems determined to win her heart by dint of his effort: “Waging wars to shake the poet and the heat/I hope it’s gonna make you notice/ … Someone like me.”
These romantic sensibilities, combined with the song’s catchy chorus, have no doubt played a role in propelling it toward the top of the charts. Anyone who feels compelled to pick up the album itself based on the strength of such sentiments, however, will find that other tracks drift toward the darker side of “love”—like the no-explanation-required “Sex on Fire.”
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews.