Youth & Young Manhood is the debut album from American rock band Kings of Leon, released on July 7, 2003, in the United Kingdom and on August 19, 2003, in the United States. The title was taken from a drawing of the family tree of Moses, found on the inside of one of their Pentecostal preaching father's Bibles. Each branch contained a line that the band was quoted as saying could easily have passed for an album title.Youth and Young Manhood, however, seemed fitting and was quickly agreed upon by all members.
Critical reception was generally favorable, as the album received a score of 79 from Metacritic. Many appreciated the band's punk and garage rock-influenced revival of the southern rock genre, with NME hailing the album among the "best debuts of the past 10 years." AllMusic claimed the album wasn't "sonically adventurous", but that "in the new-millennium pop realm, some greasy licks sure sound good." James Hunter of The Village Voice called the album "2003's finest rock debut," saying the band had built off of its first EP.Greg Kot, writing in Rolling Stone, declared that the band knew "when to lay back and let things simmer" as well as "when to jump up and testify with tambourines banging" in a favorable review.Rolling Stone critics named it the 10th-best album of 2003 and NME named it the seventh best.
The album peaked at number 3 in the United Kingdom, but fared worse in the band's homeland, peaking outside the top hundred. The band's popularity exploded in Australia during the weeks of the 22nd and 29 September 2008, when all four of the band's studio albums reached the top 50.Youth and Young Manhood making its first top 50 chart appearance since its release in 2003, peaking at number 46. The album sold more than 940,000 copies worldwide, and was ranked at number 80 in Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums of the Decade list. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.