• Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Sep 24, 2013
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Sep 18, 2013
    50
    Uninspiring, unexciting, largely forgettable--this is nothing more than Kings of Leon by numbers.
  2. Sep 20, 2013
    50
    At least there’s a couple of good ones here to stick onto the singles collection that’s inevitably just around the corner.
  3. Sep 24, 2013
    40
    At its best, Mechanical Bull is standard, paint-by-numbers fare that attempts to sprint to the finish line. However, it runs out of gas and you have to wonder if Kings of Leon have as well.
  4. Sep 19, 2013
    60
    If the album's (mostly) feral guitars and off-mike whoops conjure a band keen to re-harness the pluck of 2003's Youth & young Manhood, in places, the enormodome-courting trappings of recent years linger on. [Oct 2013, p.94]
  5. Sep 18, 2013
    40
    It feels mechanical, a band on auto-pilot, going through the motions of songwriting and recording but with their hearts elsewhere.
  6. 60
    It'll do for a fleeting one-night stand, but Mechanical Bull isn't the rekindling of a romance that we'd hoped for.
  7. Sep 26, 2013
    40
    Mechanical Bull is adequate arena rock, a collection of songs fit to play on Guitar Hero.
  8. Sep 24, 2013
    43
    Unfortunately, they miss and it lands in the five-day-old dregs of a keg in an Anytown, USA backyard.
  9. 42
    Mechanical Bull is the sound of Kings of Leon de-fanged, de-crowned, and de-throned, further evidence of their inexorable slide towards artistic irrelevance.
  10. Jan 27, 2014
    60
    Occasionally frustrating and sometimes even a little soapy, Mechanical Bull has its flaws, but it also brims with personality and passion. [Oct 2013, p.104]
  11. Sep 18, 2013
    60
    This is as forceful, salacious and dangerous as they’re likely to get.
  12. Whatever they say, this isn’t the “comeback story of a lifetime”: it’s the low-risk re-entry bid of a band who know where their bread is buttered.
  13. Sep 23, 2013
    60
    The most exciting thing that can be said for the remaining tracks is that they're less maudlin than last time around.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Sep 26, 2013
    0
    If you love this album, you have ridiculously low expectations of what music should be. You likely compare Kings of Leon to Lady Gaga orIf you love this album, you have ridiculously low expectations of what music should be. You likely compare Kings of Leon to Lady Gaga or Rhianna and think that this latest insipid offering from the Nashville quartet is somehow more credible because they wear chequered shirts and play guitars. The album is an insult to my intelligence from beginning to end, and if that wasn't enough they've even called it Mechanical Bull (translation; going through the motions garbage). "Don't Matter" could easily be a b-side that Queens of The Stone Age record when they reach their 60s."Family Tree" is a poor rehash of The Zutons "You Will You Won't", missing the sense of communion it is so blindly attempting to embrace. "Temple" contains the album's only fleeting moment of true enjoyment in an otherwise heavy, tired and extremely pointless album by a band who just don't care any more. Full Review »
  2. Sep 26, 2013
    4
    I'm not saying this album is awful, but I'm not excited about it either. It simply sounds like the Kings are getting old and settling down.I'm not saying this album is awful, but I'm not excited about it either. It simply sounds like the Kings are getting old and settling down. This is not the restrained mastery they showed on Come Around Sundown. They really try to rock out here. I'm just not convinced anymore. Full Review »
  3. Sep 24, 2013
    4
    Eagerly anticipated, easily disappointing. I think they were going for an effortless, grand, anthemic sound here but in the end achievedEagerly anticipated, easily disappointing. I think they were going for an effortless, grand, anthemic sound here but in the end achieved something that sounds bored, lazy and bland. There is little aggression, little energy and seemingly little inspiration.'Wait For Me', 'Supersoaker', 'Temple' and 'Comeback Story' are all decent tracks, but even combined they cannot add enough punch to elevate this album from it's status as a damp squib. They are not Bruce Springsteen and should stop trying to be. We have heard what they are capable of. This sounds like less than 50% of that. Full Review »