Youth & Young Manhood - Kings of Leon

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 100
    Makes you want to chain-smoke while swigging a quart of Jim by the neck and taking agreeable houswives to stud. [Aug 2003, p.110]
  2. Using and abusing passionate gospel, country sweetness and filthy guitar licks, the Kings of Leon are the kind of authentic, hairy rebels the Rolling Stones longed to be.
  3. This remarkable debut captures the sound of growing up and busting out without sparing the rough edges.
  4. Youth & Young Manhood is 2003's finest rock debut.
  5. If Alabama's Drive-by Truckers are the Second Coming of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tennessee's Kings of Leon are ZZ Top -- barons of boogie.
  6. Their lyrics... roil with the randiness and violence of Delta classics. [22/29 Aug 2003, p.132]
  7. 83
    The Kings are probably sick of the "redneck Stones" tag already, but the signs are all there. [Aug 2003, p.111]
  8. 'Youth and Young Manhood' is nothing more than a great rock'n'roll album.
  9. 80
    Despite their penchant for over-the-top tribute, Kings of Leon recycle classic rock 'n' roll with such earnestness and ebullience, that it's hard not to sing along. [#6, p.88]
  10. While rough and a little patchy, it's a cracking debut nonetheless. [Aug 2003, p.108]
  11. They come on like old-school greasers who've been around long enough to know how to savor a moment.
  12. 80
    The Kings of Leon sound like Molly Hatchet locking horns with the Gun Club. [#60, p.105]
  13. There's absolutely nothing revolutionary about what these guys are pulling, but they synthesize a gritty staccato new wave attack with the arrogant, swaying machismo of old school boogie with an authority far beyond their few years.
  14. 70
    Faced with the Kings of Leon's musical savvy, however, it's easy to believe the hype. [Sep 2003, p.104]
  15. 70
    Their debut throbs like the Strokes with cross-eyed parents, their songs gritty and economical, their drummer nasty in all the best places. [Aug 2003, p.126]
  16. And not unlike the uncertain characters populating their songs, the band members have yet to stake out a distinctive musical identity, borrowing a little too liberally from their Southern Rock roots without adding anything original to the mythology.
  17. A safe, if frayed, rock album that bristles and pops with flashes of brilliance, yet never ignites into the full-blown firestorm they're quite obviously capable of creating.
  18. The band shows an incredible level of bravado on their album of fun summer hymns, but has a hard time breaking through the barrier the lackluster vocals create.
  19. Youth and Young Manhood isn't sonically adventurous, but in the new-millennium pop realm, some greasy licks sure sound good.
  20. Their bar band approach sounds as if they've taken a book of rock history and, dutifully following along, bookmarked some of the most unremarkable passages.
  21. The songs are so generic that the only thing left at the record's conclusion is the feeling of how hollow and insubstantial the whole thing is.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Aug 18, 2014
    The Kings Of Leon's best album. So raw and beautiful at the same time. The hooks are great, and the songs fit perfectly together, and Caleb's voice gives me goosebumps when he takes it to the edge. Full Review »
  2. Feb 15, 2012
    Awesome debut album from KOL. Raw hillbillies left loose in a studio and the results are as you'd expect - wild, exciting rock and roll. You don't just get glimpses of potential here, you get pretty close to the finished article. They're missing the stadium rock anthems here no one is saying that's a bad thing. California Waiting and Molly's Chambers still rank up with their best work. Full Review »
  3. Aug 6, 2011
    Back when I thought they could kick my ass. Zero sign of anything they've done on their past two/three albums ("Charmer" on Because of the Times was close). "Trani" is the best thing they've ever written and as Bob Dylan said, it's a hell of a song. "Spiral Staircase" is/was great live. Full Review »