9. Kings Of Leon : Sex On Fire

(Only By The Night, 2008)

Having been at or near the top in many end-of-decade polls, the boys from Nashville will surely be disappointed with their lowly position in this chart.  But let's not let that detract from a classic track.  A triumph of feel over meaning, it could be about anything - the singer's pet hamster, the tragedy of genocide in Rwanda - and still transmit that sense of breathless desperation.  The urgency of the Caleb Followill's voice trumps any lyrical deficiencies and the guitar sounds like it is actually on fire through the chorus.  Wonderfully arranged and put together, it's no-brained modern rock for us all to groove and shout along with, and what more can we ask?

In fact, the whole thing reminds me of U2, both in the specific guitar sound - subtly but importantly laden with delay and a smidge of chorus, I'd say - and technique - the half rhythm, half riff powering the chorus, and also in the way that the whole thing sounds way more portentous than any examination of the words actually proves it to be.

The rest of the album has summarily failed to impinge upon my consciousness and so this remains the only thing from it that I play.

Back to the complete Best Tracks of the Noughties

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