Youth & Young Manhood - Kings of Leon
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 71
  2. Negative: 5 out of 71

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  1. Dec 14, 2010
    Kings Of Leon's debut is a little overrated. Their other work is a lot better than this album. But nevertheless, Youth And Young Manhood is a good album with some great tracks. B
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Oct 21, 2010
    this album is one of the best rock albums of all time - FACT! the kings raw sound on this album will never be topped hopefully they will try and make another album like this again.
  6. j30
    Feb 19, 2012
    Youth & Young Manhood is a solid debut from the Southern Strokes, Kings of Leon. "California Waiting" is one my favorites off this record and any of their records.
  7. Oct 30, 2013
    a terrific debut album. gritty raw and full of southern rock tunes! Standout tracks, red morning light, trani, Molly's chambers, California waiting and genius.
  8. Sep 28, 2014
    Track Picks: || Red Morning Light || Wasted Time || Trani || California Waiting || Molly's Chambers

    Youth and Young Manhood may not be the bands most outstanding LP romp, but it still stands up quite well on the back's of some very strong, clever and fun garage rock tunes.

    Kings of Leon recycle their first two EPs - Holy Roller Novocaine ("Molly's Chambers," "Wasted time" and
    "California Waiting") & What I Saw ("Red Morning Light") - and use them as the backbone for their debut; something I believe they would be nuts not to have done.
    A smart move to an extent, but it often seems as if the tracks surrounding these very strong rockers are simply written as some sort of filler (bar a few exceptions); much like a bookshelf packed to the rafters with obscure yet mediocre books simply intended to impress anyone who may glance at the shelf - in the vague hope that the few good books on the shelf will stand out.

    "Red Morning Light" opens the album with bravado, and introduces Matthew as a very skilled guitarist; the song's central riff and first solo blaze through the speakers with overt aggression. Nathan gives the track and the subsequent album a southern feel with his fabulous rhythms.

    The filler carries us to "Wasted Time," a short little thing reminiscent of early rock n roll, with a grimy edge provided by gritty guitar effects. Matthew soon provides the only truly special moment on the album disregarding the EP backbone in the slow, deep thinking "Trani;" perhaps the only song on the album which really stands on its own merit as a new and fresh take on an established tradition - the reflective cowboy ballad.

    "California Waiting" and "Molly's Chambers" round out the framework of Youth & Young Manhood, the former bringing in the feeling of southern American cattle ground with Nathan's cowbell at the outset. Cousin Caleb gives a convincing vocal performance on "California Waiting," the songs lyrical hook proving to be quite catchy.
    Jared's deep and driving bass playing grooves away on "Molly's Chambers," a sequence which is certainly a highlight among the musical pieces of the record.

    Divorced from the strong backbone taken from the bands first two EP releases, Youth & Young Manhood would prove itself quite deserving of an average reception and remembrance. Luckily, we are able to look back on an entertaining, quirky and memorable release from Kings of Leon - without the slight commercial tinge seen on their latter releases.

    Crazy and undeniably southern, here is a debut that is surprisingly worthwhile thanks to a powerful stable of well written garage rock hits.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 83
    The Kings are probably sick of the "redneck Stones" tag already, but the signs are all there. [Aug 2003, p.111]
  2. 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]
  3. 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.