Only By The Night - Kings of Leon
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 179 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 179

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  1. WD1
    Apr 27, 2012
    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. Oct 4, 2010
    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.
  3. Oct 10, 2010
    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
  4. Oct 21, 2010
    def the worst album outta the five though its far from bad. still some great songs on this album, sex on fire, cold desert, manhattan, crawl and i want you are great kings songs.
  5. Dec 15, 2010
    I don't agree with all the hate on this album. I personally love their sound on this album. They slowed their music down quite a bit. All the rip-roaring guitar riffs are cut out for the most part. It's more arena rock on this album and it sounds great. Caleb's voice just soars and it sounds the best on this album than any other album they have put out. The opener "Closer" is a dark song and it's a great way to start off the album with. "Be Somebody" is my personal favorite on the album and one of my favorite Kings Of Leon songs. The smash singles "Sex On Fire" and "Use Somebody" are good songs but there are a lot better on the album. All In All, Only By The Night has a great sound and I love The Kings transformation from Southern rockers to more "easy on the ear" rockers. B+ Expand
  6. Mar 4, 2011
    kol have made a great soft rock album here. i do prefer the earlier sound but bands change, thats what bands do. Crawl, i want you, manhattan, cold desert and revlery are the stand out tracks.
  7. Mar 14, 2011
    Inconsistently excellent. Only By The Night is a good album with some good tracks, some great tracks, some outstanding tracks, and some terrible tracks.
  8. May 6, 2011
    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
  9. j30
    Feb 19, 2012
    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.
  10. Feb 15, 2012
    Alot of people probably think this is where KOL went downhill but I disagree. Yes it's more soft rock and radio friendly than their previous efforts but it's still full of strong tracks. If the singles of this hadn't been played to death U2 style, it would have a lot more credibility as a record. It's inevitable that the more mainstream fans you gain the more alternative ones you lose. KOL were laughing all the way to the bank with this but it doesn't make it a bad record. While you'll be sick of the sound of Sex on Fire and Use Somebody, tracks like Closer, Manhatten,Be Somebody and I Want You are up there with their best work. Expand
  11. Oct 11, 2013
    Simply brilliant. All of the band's albums before this were genius and nothing has changed. Only by the Night is diverse and unique. Each track is totally different and it will be known as one of the best rock albums of our generation. It's truly one of the best albums I have ever heard by one of the best bands I have ever heard. Well done, Kings of Leon. My favorite tracks are Be Somebody, Closer, Crawl, Notion, Cold Desert and Revelry. Expand
  12. Jun 29, 2012
    A very solid alternative rock album. Yes its sound is much more commercial then their previous efforts but to that I'd say, "so what". If an album is good it's good. An there is nothing wrong with change, those who alienate them were never really fans to begin with. Crawl is unequivocally the best song on this Lp.
  13. Nov 1, 2012
    Very good album. The songs are diversified, relaxing but still rocking. Caleb Followill's voice is groovy, the guitar and bass riffs are remarkable and the lyrics also got me. You should go and hear this!
  14. Oct 30, 2013
    There is no denying that kings of leon changed their sound on this one but it worked. Closer and crawl are two of the best songs they have ever created. Other stand out tracks are I want you and cold desert.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. 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.