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Following their 2011 flame-out when they cancelled a tour after a drunk Caleb Followill went Awol during a Dallas show, Kings of Leon have regrouped. “I can feel it coming back again,” Followill yowls, but the chemistry isn’t so easily recoverable.

“Rock City” is as loose and lithe as their early work and “Don’t Matter” works up a fine punk-rock head of steam, but the tempo sags with cod-U2 ballads (“Beautiful War”) and plodding country-tinged weepies (“On the Chin”). “I’ve lost my way,” Followill sings in an uncertain moment: his band’s ambivalence about becoming stadium-rock big beasts continues.

Kings of Leon

Mechanical Bull

(Sony)

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