When You See Yourself | Kings of Leon

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When You See Yourself

When You See Yourself is the eighth studio album by American rock band Kings of Leon. It was released on March 5, 2021, by RCA Records. The album was again produced by Markus Dravs. It was preceded by the singles "The Bandit" and "100,000 People", both released on January 7, 2021. It is the band's first album in nearly 4 1/2 years, following 2016's Walls, marking their longest gap between studio album releases. -Wikipedia

Critic Reviews

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  • Rolling Stone

    The Southern garage rockers’ eighth album is subtle and surprising.  

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  • Pitchfork

    On their eighth album, the Followill brothers desperately cling to a sound that has stopped working, trying to write songs that soar but capable only of ones that wallow.  

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  • Commedia

    The album may be able to retain some new listeners, but to any of their fans, it was well worth the wait. Although it is a little more mellow than previous entries, there is a lot of fun to be had and it helps secure their spot as one of the most creative rock bands of the time.  

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  • NME

    The riffin' and ruminatin' rockers are back with an eighth album that finds them joyful, energised and curious, the sound of growing happier in your own skin.  

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  • The Guardian

    not much to look at.  

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  • The Wall Street Journal

    The rock band’s latest album feels dreamy but distant. 

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  • Louder Sound

    Kings Of Leon's When You See Yourself is a record of life-worn wisdom, hard times and hope.  

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  • The Independent

    A sonic smoulder strung together with cliches.  

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  • Paste Magazine

    The band’s eighth album is full of songs that are catchy, but unremarkable.  

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  • Slant Magazine

    Don’t call it a comeback, but with enough moments like those scattered throughout, it leaves the door cracked for the possibility of a new beginning.  

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  • Vinyl Chapters

    When You See Yourself is Kings of Leon once again in transition, but this time it seems like they’re finally progressing in the right direction. It might not be the all-encompassing and originality-fuelled band from old, but the longer you’re in the industry and the older you get, the more difficult it is to stand out amongst the crowd. The album does build an overall sound that has some great moments, but it just needs a little tailoring here and there to really captivate and take it to the next level.  

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  • Sputnik Music

    When You See Yourself is a welcoming return to form for Kings of Leon. It’s a nostalgia sucker punch for those in the right time, in the right place. It's an album that their fanbase will revel in, as opposed to those who found the same satisfaction in scorning them instead.  

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  • The Boar

    When You See Yourself is a strong album. Accusations of monotony or dreariness are unfair; the record isn’t dull, it just moves away from naïve, youthful and rebellious to pensive and inward-looking, taking on topics of lost youth and reminiscence instead of bright lights and hedonism. It has energetic moments, too, alongside the more sombre tracks, creating a blend of sounds that make for an interesting and engaging listen.  

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  • musicOMH

    At best, When You See Yourself is the finest collection Kings Of Leon have put out since their peak years, and at worst a collection of good tunes to listen to this spring and never hear again. That’s a win-win, no matter how you look at it.  

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  • Beats Per Minute

    Pretty much every song on When You See Yourself manages to convey what the past few Kings of Leon albums missed. This is an at times muscular, at other times breezy collection of songs, recorded with care, removing bombast and occasionally returning to the rough live sound of their early days. It’s the album the band should have released back in 2008, but maybe it took the ride on the dirt road to get back on the highway.  

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  • RTE

    There are far too many moments of self-parody, but a time of reflection has made KoL sound a lot less jaded and a lot more fun. There are sky-scaping anthems, heartland road trip songs, and plenty solitary intimacy. The Kings are back, with their feet firmly planted in the grassroots of their youth and their heads still in the clouds.  

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  • WERS 88.9

    It’s just another example of how the band has fought to stay true to themselves and their craft. 

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  • Audioxide

    There are some nicely written melodies and well produced tracks throughout, and I think this album certainly has an audience, somewhere… I’m just not sure it’s me. When You See Yourself is by no means a bad album, but maybe I’m forever disappointed because I’m forever chasing a sound that just isn’t Kings of Leon anymore.  

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  • Spill Magazine

    Even though you’ve never heard these songs before, after a few listens it starts to feel like you’ve known them all along. For some that can be a source of critique, but I don’t see it that way. As a whole, When You See Yourself is a welcome new addition to the band’s discography, and cements their status as one of the top rock bands of the last fifteen years.  

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  • The Student Playlist

    Debates about the nature of its release aside, what’s more relevant is that ‘When You See Yourself’ is an extremely bland and predictable offering from an extremely bland and predictable band.  

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  • The Line of Best Fit

    There’s nothing inherently bad about When You See Yourself, but it feels like you could merge it with any release from their last decade of activity and construct an album that has some heart to it. Time waits for no man, and on the surface Kings of Leon know this and are doing things their way, but so have so many others, and to more rewarding ends.  

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  • Gigwise

    When You See Yourself doesn’t approach the creative zenith of those critically-adored early albums and nor will it top the sales of their mid-career commercial peak, but it’s refreshing to hear the band block out outside influences and just make music for the fun of it; after all isn’t that why we fell in love with them in the first place?  

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  • Evening Standard

    The songs are in no rush, frequently tipping the scales at over five minutes, and largely possess a relaxed feel more suited to home listening. There’s a more prominent role for Jared Followill’s bass, which sits high in the mix on the charming Stormy Weather, and brings warmth and energy when it finally appears on When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away? Echoing is the only one that sounds like it was made with those stadium hordes in mind, galloping along in a fashion that is crying out for a few fireworks.  

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  • DIY Magazine

    An album that, though not without its fillers, feels like they’re having more genuine fun than they’ve had in years.  

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  • The Times

    from Nashville straight to dullsville.  

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  • The Upcoming

    When You See Yourself shows the groups’s evolution. It is a polished, enjoyable and pensive work that prioritises storytelling over rock’n’roll guitar gimmicks and youthful bursts of rockstar anger. It feels like the soundtrack of our times and it will be exciting to see how Kings of Leon develops from here.  

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  • The Spokesman-Review

    Hail to the Kings of Leon return. 

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  • Pop Goes The Weasel

    This is comfortable territory for the Tennessean band who, for the first time in quite a while, sound like they have found their way home.  

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  • Everything Must Swing

    It thus becomes clear that whether in form of PR antics, or just bona fide songwriting, creative hybridity seems to be the only way Kings of Leon appear to push forward nowadays, particularly when they see themselves. 

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  • Drew's Reviews

    The slow and at times lifeless When You See Yourself sounds more experimental than anything else that typifies their past sound. Don’t expect much in terms of an uplifting pace, significant rock guitar with solos and chords that move, or well-crafted harmonies that leave an impression. Too often a melody cruises along only for a total disruption like a wrench thrown into the spokes of the song tossing you over the album cover.  

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  • All Music

    Individual tunes don't float out of the ether so much as fade into another handsome moment that's distinguished by production flair as much as it is by melody or hooks. Perhaps that's a long term problem, as the songs don't linger as much as the vibe does, but that spacious, sumptuous feel is appealing as When You See Yourself marches steadily to its conclusion.  

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  • Live4ever

    Instead, it’s what stares back from the mirror that dominates the skyline of When You See Yourself, a place where the intersection of happiness and uncertainty prompts a less bombastic, introverted collection searching for answers. They might as well retire that handbook now, because Kings of Leon will always write their own script, one that at present is still more than rewarding enough for the faithful.  

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  • Stereoboard

    It would appear that Kings of Leon have now reached a point in their career where they’re happy to churn out safe music that could quite easily be heard in the background of many a gathering without tearing the guests’ attention away from their hosts. Pleasant enough, but nothing new.  

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  • The Wee Review

    Their Youth and Young Manhood may be long gone, but the fact that even back then the Followills looked and sounded like a grizzled old blues-rock outfit seemed to signal their future. As it happened, things took a different turn, but you can’t help but still seek for traces of that alternative timeline in what is otherwise a run-of-the-mill commercial rock album.  

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  • Hotpress

    From ‘Golden Restless Age’ to the sabre-rattling cavalry charge of ‘Echoing’, there’s an abiding sense of Carpe Diem for Memento Mori. Don’t worry, it’s not as grim as it sounds. 

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  • Riff Magazine

    When You See Yourself is the work of a mature band, and a group of people who have ridden the ultimate lifestyle rollercoaster from home-schooled Bible kids growing up in the South to one of the biggest acts in rock music. While some of the band’s unbridled enthusiasm has waned, it’s been replaced by a larger emotional range and more complex messages in its music. 

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