Only By The Night

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Sep 23, 2008
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Mojo
    60
    Only By The Night is best viewed as a transitional record from a band who have quite literally done their growing up in public. [Oct 2008, p.98]
  2. Much of Only By the Night is unmistakably the work of a band making music with arenas in mind. Sometimes it's intriguing.
  3. This isn’t natural territory for Kings of Leon, and it often shows. At times the band seems content to channel the monumental sweep of U2.
  4. Through headphones or computer speakers, Caleb's echoey vocals just don't ring credible. Their Black-Crowes-go-new-wave choruses are exciting enough, but they feel unearned after tiresome, oversung verses.
  5. Only by the Night is long on astral, arena-ready largeness, with blippy keyboards, droney guitars and whoa-oh-oh backing vocals.
  6. I have enough faith in this band to presume they’ll eventually see Only By the Night for what it is, as a fourth album hiccup that fails to play to their strengths.
  7. While their ambition for evolving remains admirable, their apparent failure to understand their own strengths is troubling and undermines the promise they showed on their previous efforts.
  8. This is an album which feels like it was made quickly, not because of artists reaching a terminal velocity of creativity, but to take maximum advantage of an audience who may not be there this time next year.
  9. Only by The Night will undoubtedly sell bucketloads but there's no escaping the fact that creatively, Kings Of Leon have stalled.
  10. Essentially a funhouse mirror of 2007's far superior "Because of the Times," Only by the Night stumbles under the weight of its ambitions by lacking the songs necessary to support them
  11. Under The Radar
    40
    Only By The Night has exposed itself as the weakest Kings Of Leon album. [Fall 2008, p.76]
  12. For the most part the record is a sluggish mess of sweeping guitars and stoner-rock sounds, not unlike what you might hear at a high school talent show.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 96
  2. Negative: 26 out of 96
  1. James
    Jul 20, 2009
    0
    I was a fan of Kings of Leon until this album. It represents the opposite of everything they were built on.
  2. WD1
    Apr 27, 2012
    5
    I see reviewers writing whole essays about this album, but I think one word can easily sum up Only By The Night: tame. "Crawl" is actuallyI see reviewers writing whole essays about this album, but I think one word can easily sum up Only By The Night: tame. "Crawl" is actually pretty good, though. Full Review »
  3. TomA
    Sep 25, 2009
    3
    At best, its fairly average. 2007's Because Of Times was one of the best albums of the last decade, but this fell along way short of At best, its fairly average. 2007's Because Of Times was one of the best albums of the last decade, but this fell along way short of that benchmark. There are 1 or 2 decent moments, but most of the songs are wastefully transparent, the lyrics are horribly cliched and any trace of that quirky edge ,which made the band so likeable in earlier albums, has been washed away in a tide of indie-rock mediocrity. It seems that Kings of Leon have transcended from different but brilliant to uniform but sellable; pressure from their record company may not have helped, but the whole of this record seems to have slipped into the line of 'fashionable' music. A special mention, finally, for 'Use Somebody'. Quite simply, one of the worst songs ever written by any band with their level of talent. It really is awful - yet it has risen to new heights of adulation. And that, in a way, pretty much sums up this album. Full Review »