Track Review: Kings of Leon, ‘Reverend’
Kings of Leon continue to build momentum for ‘Walls’ with final pre-release promo single, “Reverend,” inspired by a late country musician.
Lately, listening to Kings of Leon requires analysis and decoding. That’s not a necessarily a bad thing, considering it adds extra depth, but at times, it can be confounding. Regardless, as of late, there seems to be an added dimension to the music. On the final promo single issue prior to Walls, Kings of Leon drops “Reverend.” “Reverend” has nothing to do with Sunday’s sermon. Rather, according to EW, the song is written in memoriam of country singer Blaze Foley.
Foley isn’t a household name, living a short 39-years and dying nearly 30 years ago (1989). Regardless of the naivety most Kings of Leon fans will possess, give the band credit for honoring someone who influenced them. Furthermore, give them credit for sharing that influence with their own fans and the world.
“Reverend” gives KOL another unique single, distinct from the previous ones. It is soundly produced, with the timbre of the guitar and driving rhythm serve as selling points. The main selling point is frontman Caleb Followill’s incredible, gritty voice. He sounds particularly spirited on the chorus, where he references a reverend for the first time by name:
“Just like a reverend, like a reverend on the radio / your heart will never say so / your heart will never let you go / just like a reverend, like a reverend on the radio / my heart will never say so / my heart will never let you go.”
Beyond the chorus, the lyrics on the verses are more poetic. The imagery painted by Followill is dark, yet captivating nonetheless. On verse one, Followill proclaims,
“On the limb cut down in the middle of the night caught in a trap / cursed by the crown of the wandering man who was never coming back…”
Things don’t improve on the second verse:
“I got caught in the middle of a hurricane fight facing the ground / Beast to the wild with the porcelain smile as it passes around…”
Lyrically, is it easily accessible in regards to analysis and interpretation? No. However, the lyrics are admirable for being so distinct and “out of the box.”
Once more, Kings of Leon deliver an intriguing promo single. “Reverend” is well-rounded, but not the easiest song to decipher. Nonetheless, it is well-produced, soundly performed, and features poetic clever lyrics. Clearly, the Followills are onto something with Walls. Solid, but don’t label it as a home run.