The remix album has one of the richest and most fulfilling legacies in rock 'n' roll history, spanning from Jennifer Lopez's enthusiasm-brimming, J to tha L-O!: The Remixes, to Linkin Park's pound-your-fists-AND-bust-a-move-fest, Reanimation. At the same time a side project, a scrap to appease new-music-craving fans and a think piece, the remix album now welcomes a new member to its illustrious camp: Kings of Leon.
All right, so maybe we're being a little harsh. But the fact remains that the Kings' Only By The Night will get the royal remix treatment by a notably "WTF" batch of today's top beatmakers and genre-benders including Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Mark Ronson, Lykke Li, Kenna and the aforementioned Linkin Park.
Now, we already know that Kings songs can be beautifully deconstructed in the right hands, but it's a little hard to imagine Wiliams, whose arguable-best beatwork has been with Clipse, taking the clay of stretched-out guitars and Caleb Followill's mumble-singing and making a formidable sculpture.
Still, it's an interesting development in Kings of Leon's steady climb to the mountaintop of mainstream rock. Since Only By The Night dropped in 2008, paired with a Spin magazine cover that asked whether the scrappy familial crew would finally get theirs in the U.S., they've been, well, getting theirs in the US.
Kings of Leon, in less than a year's time, transformed from great divider of the Indie World (saviors of southern rock or unintelligable poseurs?) to the great uniter of Radio Rock Land ("Play that 'Sexy Fire' song!" yell the bro masses at shows.), leaving former arguers and debaters in the dust.
But who are we to criticize? Kings of Leon are enjoying the biggest success of their career. If that means letting Linkin Park add some totally raging guitars and screams into their otherwise gorgeous songs, so be it.
Plus, Lykke Li on "I Want You" done up as cute electro-pop could totally kill.
News: Kings of Leon Photo Gallery Set to Open in London
Review: Kings of Leon: Only By The Night