Throughout my career as a music writer and critic, I've been wrong about plenty of things. I gave Missy Elliott's Under Construction a poor review (it ended up being one of the best albums of 2002). After hearing the title track from the not-yet-released American Idiot, I declared that Green Day would only sell 50,000 records and would probably break up. And more recently, I didn't think that Kings of Leon would ever become as big (or as cool) as rock critics wanted them to be. But the Tennessee quartet has proved me wrong, having taken their latest album Only by the Night to platinum status, headlined huge concerts and festivals and now getting an all-star remix album together care of some of their high-profile fans. The group told Billboard that the forthcoming compilation would feature remixes care of Justin Timberlake, Linkin Park, Pharrell Williams and Mark Ronson.
"It's neat to have these people who we would've jumped at the chance to work with ourselves ... coming to us before we even get a chance to ask them," drummer Nathan Followill said. "It's amazing to hear your song played by these people who are so creative."
It's not clear what the remixes would sound like or even which tunes will be getting a re-jiggering, but there are a few team-ups that would be ideal. Timberlake should lend a bit of harder-edged disco to the sorta-dance-ready "Sex on Fire." Linkin Park could turn "Molly's Chambers" into one of their aggro stomps, while Pharrell should take "The Bucket" and slather a little bit of robot funk on it. But since Rihanna was recently spotted hanging with the band and attending a KOL show, somebody should give her a call and encourage her to do a straight cover of "Use Somebody." The band's gorgeous ballad — their first trip into the upper-echelons of the Billboard Hot 100 — could be reduced to little more than Rihanna's haunting voice, which could add layers of pathos to an already stunning track. And to return the favor, Kings of Leon should cover "Umbrella."