Spin of the Week [1]: Rarely by Kings of Leon

I guess I should start with a little introduction about this feature on the blog. Well, simply put, it’s to showcase an album that may be new or old and hopefully something that you and I may find to our mutual liking. And while everyone’s tastes in music is in the ears of the beholder, I like using this feature to talk about why an album is worth a download or a purchase. 

Lately, my husband and I have been going on a regular record store jaunts. The beauty of discovering vinyl records is that I am also finding a way to discover new music.

On my first trip to a record store here in the city, I ended up buying a mish-mash of genres: from the soothing, sultry voice of Nina Simone to the screaming energy of Dave Grohl. I also had the pleasure of listening to Ani di Franco for the first time and have found The Dead Kennedys’ banner album. Foo Fighters, I know. As for the rest, not really.

This week, I have an album that have pretty much spun every weekend in my house. It’s a known fact that I am a huge Kings of Leon fan. I thought for sure that I have all their albums and know all their songs. But, guess what? I was wrong (yeah, it happens once in a while).

Rarely by Kings of Leon is an album that I bought as a part of a box set. To be honest, I bought it because of one song: Wicker Chair,  a song that was a part of their Holy Roller Novocaine EP. It was their first EP released in 2003. The legend goes that the song is about the youngest Followill, Jared. If you listen to the lyrics, it talks about their (Caleb’s and Nathan’s) disgust with his penchant for sleeping around, being drunk and being high. If you ask me, it’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

“And it’s hard looking at you when you look that way
with your one-night stands and you sleep all day
oh – you’re such a slut sometimes…”

But it’s not the only song that makes Rarely worth spending money for. There are songs here that a reaffirmed KoL fan would absolutely love.

Side A has studio versions of songs that we know and love: A slower, Southern California rock-esque of California Waiting, Molly’s Hangover (Molly’s Chamber), and an AOL Music Sessions version of On Call. It also has three songs that they rarely (if not, never) play in their sets: Head to Toe, Woo Hoo, My Third House

Side B has live sessions of their songs from UK venues other than Trani which they played in Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee. And of course, the reason why I wanted to get the box set, Wicker Chair.

If there’s any clear indication of how their style have evolved during the years, Rarely had shown me just how gritty they used to be. But I love the old and the new Kings of Leon. I get so pissed at anyone that says they sold out just because their style have mellowed out. Anyone who can say that with a straight face does not exactly grasp the process of evolution.