Only By The Night

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Sep 23, 2008
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 197

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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 actually pretty good, though.
  2. Cameron
    Oct 22, 2008
    6
    KOl of my favourite band and i was eagerly anticipating this album yet apart from 'Use Somebody', 'Crawl', 'Cold Desert' and perhaps 'Closer' the rest is not up to their colossal standards that were shown on the last 3 albums. To me it seems rushed with too many leftovers from their last album.
  3. Mislav
    Sep 27, 2008
    5
    I was surprised to learn that the Kings of Leon were releasing a CD so soon after Because of the Times. I thought maybe they could continue making strong music like they did on that album (which I wasn't a huge fan of, but I certainly enjoyed it). Closer was a wonderful opener and set my hopes high. Crawl was still pretty good, but I could tell that Closer wasn't going to be I was surprised to learn that the Kings of Leon were releasing a CD so soon after Because of the Times. I thought maybe they could continue making strong music like they did on that album (which I wasn't a huge fan of, but I certainly enjoyed it). Closer was a wonderful opener and set my hopes high. Crawl was still pretty good, but I could tell that Closer wasn't going to be matched throughout the album. After Crawl it just became by-the-books Kings of Leon, neither good nor bad, rather like how The Darkness epically failed on their second album. The tracks all kind of blend together in a monotonous mediocrity without anything interesting to pull you in. Any fan of Kings of Leon will find some redeeming qualities in this, but if you're looking for a good album, this doesn't quite cut it. It seems rushed and, as others have probably said, seems like they're trying to just make more money, very quickly. Get good reviews on a few albums and a rushed follow-up is a sure way to get more fans... just don't lose those who were with you at the start. Expand
  4. StevenH.
    Oct 2, 2008
    4
    Anybody could have writtent this album. Anybody. It's so weak compared to previous albums. It frustrates me that it's being reviewed so highly, do we really need to encourage Kings of Leon to be the next Coldplay or U2? I wish they'd just be Kings of Leon.
  5. [Anonymous]
    Sep 24, 2008
    5
    The album is a good album for any random college band. But Kings of Leon could have made a good album wihtout losing their grit. That grit is exactly what was charismatic about their music before. I all for well-developed song structure, but you can still hold on to your roots. This is a frustrating album at best. A band with potential selling it's soul for stadium approval.
  6. TimT
    Sep 25, 2008
    6
    Definitely not the Kings of Leon that we love and are used to.
  7. SatanicM
    Feb 10, 2009
    4
    Predictable, dull and extremely unorganic, this album is by far a dissappointing attemp to be U2. This is not KOL at all. This is a mainstream record that lacks innovations and lurks around repetitive pop references. It's boring. It doesn't have earlier work's edge nor greasy, cocky guitar licks and lyrics. It's like asking the Stones to be U2. I'm a HUGE KOL fan, Predictable, dull and extremely unorganic, this album is by far a dissappointing attemp to be U2. This is not KOL at all. This is a mainstream record that lacks innovations and lurks around repetitive pop references. It's boring. It doesn't have earlier work's edge nor greasy, cocky guitar licks and lyrics. It's like asking the Stones to be U2. I'm a HUGE KOL fan, but I'm utterly dissappointed. I hope they go back to basics and kick some ass. Expand
  8. StuP.
    Sep 25, 2008
    6
    Still a good album, but nothing on the first two KOL albums or even Because of the Times! They're turning into U2 and its definitely not a good thing. What happened to their trademark southern swagger and indie guitar riffs? Way too processed.
  9. Smitty
    Oct 15, 2009
    6
    For my 1st time listening to any of their albums, this was well composed. Every song offers a taste of their live performance whereas you could imagine seeing them on stage. It stands out b/c they have a sound almost bigger than any other band that's been out as long as they have.
  10. AdamC
    Dec 19, 2008
    4
    The year's biggest disappointment. Being a huge fan of KOL's two first albums and a so-so fan of their third, I was hoping for a return to their rougher sound. However, they've set aim for the commercial market and produced their worst album by far. What a joke that this album has ended up on many critics end of year polls.
  11. j30
    Feb 19, 2012
    4
    To say Only By The Night is a horrible album would be a bit ignorant. Coming after their best album Because Of The Times this album feels underwhelming and very disappointing in the arena-rock direction they took.
  12. Jun 9, 2015
    4
    Kings of Leon in this album are no longer a band, but a brand capable of making lots of money. There are stadium-rock silly songs, rock songs, pop songs and a lot of useless songs. It's really hard to feel this record. Its strength relies on the fact that there are some great songs, as the single Sex on Fire, or the languid opener of the record Closer.
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.