Only By The Night

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Sep 23, 2008
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 206 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 206

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  1. 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 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 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. Expand
  2. Rhys
    Oct 6, 2009
    1
    As a result of this album, I have completely lost faith in the Kings. It's a sell out that escapes into soft core stadium rock, almost completely lacking any of the original grit that defined the Kings as a band. The only throwback to that sound is the building tension in "Be Somebody," which is reminiscent of "Four Kicks," but is resolved with no dirty guitars or guttural vocals, As a result of this album, I have completely lost faith in the Kings. It's a sell out that escapes into soft core stadium rock, almost completely lacking any of the original grit that defined the Kings as a band. The only throwback to that sound is the building tension in "Be Somebody," which is reminiscent of "Four Kicks," but is resolved with no dirty guitars or guttural vocals, just a sweet, "easy" chorus. The only benefit of this album is that it made me able to appreciate "" as still retaining some of the magic seen on the first two albums, which is completely lost here. It's safe to say that after this, I'll be downloading the next album, if I bother with it at all. Expand
  3. RickyP.
    Jan 25, 2010
    1
    This is perhaps one of the biggest sell out albums (if not THE biggest) of the past decade. A band with much talent goes and releases drivel in order to please people in clubs. There is no intelligence involved and no insight that made previous efforts worthwhile. Truly disappointing, in the context of their talent.
  4. CailyD.
    Sep 23, 2008
    0
    Pure cock rock drivel for scenesters. Why does the UK and Australia dig this banal crap so much?
  5. BrianB
    Jul 23, 2009
    3
    When you consider their their first 2 records, this is a zero. But rating it against the field, I still have to give it some credit, there are 3 or 4 songs I don't mind listening to. I call this record their "get laid and paid in America" record. Because that's all it's good for. Congratulations guys, you were my favorite band, and now you have 10x as many fans but they are When you consider their their first 2 records, this is a zero. But rating it against the field, I still have to give it some credit, there are 3 or 4 songs I don't mind listening to. I call this record their "get laid and paid in America" record. Because that's all it's good for. Congratulations guys, you were my favorite band, and now you have 10x as many fans but they are all douche bags. So disappointing. Y&YM remains one of the greatest albums EVER! Expand
  6. 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.
  7. Oct 4, 2010
    0
    Never has an album stripped the credibility from a band in such dramatic fashion. 'Crawl' is probably the worst, weakest at the knees and ill-timed stab at political commentary ever written. Kings of Leon: I don't believe you.
  8. KennyM
    Sep 24, 2008
    0
    Why do Kings of Leon suck now?
  9. Oct 10, 2010
    1
    absolutely **** terrible, to put it bluntly. because of the times was easily one of, if not THE best album of the decade. This would be one of the worst considering the potential this band has shown they have. only half decent song is Crawl which resembles because of the times
  10. CribbB
    Jan 2, 2009
    3
    Kings of Leon are getting worse by the album. This has nothing on youth and young manhood or aha shake heartbreak. The band may have improved but the music they have produced for this album is just full of radio-friendly drivel with little redeeming aspects. Sellouts.
  11. erike
    Sep 29, 2008
    1
    A turd by any other name would still be a turd...good god, what a piece of crap. all the promise of aha shake heartbreak is a distant memory at this point...this is a complete and total embarrassment...if i wanted to listen to a nickelback album, well...i would shoot myself...if you don't like radio friendly, cookie cutter, paint by numbers garbage...stay as far away from this as possible.
  12. JoshH.
    Oct 15, 2009
    2
    I keep being told this album is a clean representation of a band selling out. "Sex On Fire" will be the thing that ultimately destroys what was a half-decent band. Commercial will love it though, god what don't they love.
  13. JhonatanY
    Feb 24, 2009
    0
    This album despite and is less than the previous albums, now Kings Of Leon sounds like a mediocrity copy of My Morning Jacket or a average alt rock band like Hinder or Nickelback, This album is one of big fakes of the decade.
  14. VinceG.
    Jun 15, 2009
    1
    Use Somebody was one of the worst songs I've heard in years. The rest of the album wasn't much better. The music doesn't change, it's just the same thing over and over again. Overall this album is terrible.
  15. RandyS
    Nov 28, 2008
    1
    I don't believe in judging CD's on the coverart alone, but i feel like if i judged this CD on musical quality I would end up with a broken keyboard, bloody hand, and an annoying headache. So, on a scale of 0-1, 0 being a CD with coverart not similar to previous KOL CDs, and 1 being a CD that resembles coverart from previous KOL CDs, I give this CD a 1.
  16. EarlL
    Jan 15, 2009
    1
    So disappointing; that a band I loved so much could be reduced to producing such dross nearly brought me to tears. It sounds at best like the worst efforts of all the bands I hate, and at worst like a terrible, shallow immitation of all the bands I love.
  17. JoseR
    Mar 16, 2009
    3
    This album killed me. I love KOL, I've seen them live 2x, but this album seems like a record execs idea of what they should sound like in order to sell some records toa more mainstream Audience. Gone is the raw sound and energy of Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heart Brake, instead we get sappy, boring songs. This CD hurts, Lord knows I tried to like it.
  18. ChristianC
    Mar 19, 2009
    0
    thanks to this awful album Kings Of Lion was died for me and many people who loved their music, They can makes One Hit Wonders and going to disappear like Kaiser Chiefs. R.I.P. Kings Of Leon.
  19. MarliseG
    Mar 19, 2009
    0
    K.O.L. (Kings Of Losers) makes the worst alternative rock albums from 2008, and the Grammy and Brit Awards gave awards now, for the losers and biggest mediocrity and terrible music that exist in this planet.
  20. JuanP
    Mar 19, 2009
    0
    This album killed me too!, I liked KOL music, but its terrible album, boring awful, horrible, i don't understand why wins a grammy and a brit awards, its awards for the mediocrity and merchandise plastic music? I'f Metacritic makes negative points i gave to it -10.
  21. ChrisS
    Mar 19, 2009
    0
    Only two words to say about it: HORRIBLE ALBUM.
  22. Jean-PhilippeD.
    Sep 25, 2008
    2
    Shocking demonstration from a formerly well hung rocking quartet. I haven't heard such a disappointing records since U2 "All That You Can't Leave Behind"... though everyone already expected that one to be a mere pile of teenage spitle. Sellouts!
  23. ThomasG
    Nov 17, 2008
    0
    This band's first two records were a couple of the best records by anyone in the last ten years. This record, like their third effort, is dismal beyond belief. It's SO bad it's almost a "must hear" for music buffs, kind of like Plan 9 From Outer space is for film freaks. As the album unfolds, you just can't fathom how it can possibly be getting worse. Pretyy incredible This band's first two records were a couple of the best records by anyone in the last ten years. This record, like their third effort, is dismal beyond belief. It's SO bad it's almost a "must hear" for music buffs, kind of like Plan 9 From Outer space is for film freaks. As the album unfolds, you just can't fathom how it can possibly be getting worse. Pretyy incredible in its own way. Expand
  24. MarkP
    Dec 18, 2008
    3
    The first play through of this album may have been promising but on repeat listens it is clear that KOL have traded in their unique and exciting style for meaningless crap which appeals to anyone who doesn't like good music.
  25. May 6, 2011
    3
    First of all I'd like to thank KOL for the epic music gven to us in the first two albums (I haven't listened to the third one yet.) They were Rock n Roll at it's purest, just albums full of passion and fun and I couldn't get enough of them.

    Getting to Only By The Night, it is a dissapointment and it's a shame to see a band go down a path like this. The passion has gone and we're left
    First of all I'd like to thank KOL for the epic music gven to us in the first two albums (I haven't listened to the third one yet.) They were Rock n Roll at it's purest, just albums full of passion and fun and I couldn't get enough of them.

    Getting to Only By The Night, it is a dissapointment and it's a shame to see a band go down a path like this. The passion has gone and we're left with an album that's designed to make money as opposed to tearing your face off. I dislike it. Revelry is a decent song but after a while gets boring and lifeless. There are many bands who do this kind of music but much better see Sigur Ros or early U2 or even some old british post punk bands (Joy Division, The Fall, New Order etc.)

    To finish I'd like to thank KOL for all the good music they have created and wish them a happy retirement
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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. The dreamy 'Cold Desert' is the perfect maudlin end to this short, sharp, 42-minute, no-filler album, revelling in every miserable blues-rocker cliché as Matthew's guitar goes all shoegazey and then briefly threatens to turn the whole thing into a 'Purple Rain' wig-out.
  3. As it is, it's a very fine record from a band who are seemingly growing in stature, confidence, and ability by the day.