Kings of Leon
Because Of The Times


4.0
excellent

Review

by David James Young USER (181 Reviews)
April 5th, 2007 | 49 replies | 19,739 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The dirtiest preacher's sons around make a triumphant return with their first record in three years.

8 of 11 thought this review was well written

So you’ve overcome second album syndrome with a critically-acclaimed improvement of your first record. Fantastic. But the question remains- where do you go from here?

Invariably, this is the question that the boys Followill- Nathan, Caleb, Matt and Jared- have asked themselves. So on to album number three. Entitled Because of The Times- so called, says Caleb, because “if the record sells, it’s because of the times; if the record fails, it’s because of the times”- the band seem to have taken similar approaches as bands like The Strokes; when you hear this record, you’ll know it’s them, but you will also immediately notice changes.

The album begins as such with “Knocked Up”. Several special things about this song; for one, it’s the longest song the band have ever done at seven-plus minutes. Not a lot’s been done with this song production-wise either, as it sounds like it’s just another jam session song (if listening closely, the Followills can be heard conversing in the first few seconds). Matt’s chirpy lead guitar is backed well by an almost militant drumroll that remains persistent throughout.
Lyrically, the song deals with teen pregnancy in a small town- “I don’t care what nobody say/We gonna have a baby”, Caleb sings in his usual drawl. It’s a darkly themed song, but it sort of seems that the music doesn’t fit- a rollicking jam reminiscent of U2’s very early days with a bit of classic [L[Neil Young[/L] thrown in. Nevertheless, the sound is rich, despite low-key production, especially with the heart wrenching sounds of the Followill boys howling a “whoa-oh whoa-ohhhh”. Overall, this is a fantastic introduction to the album.

Sounds then proceed to “Charmer”. Run-of-the-mill Kings rocking out. Except for one little thing. “She’s such a charmer, oh no”, Caleb drawls. Nothing surprising, you think. Until suddenly Caleb does something with his voice that this writer can honestly say has never heard done on record anywhere else. “WEOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW” is the rough translation, but what IS it? A howl? A squeal? A scream? Whatever the hell it is, it sure as hell makes you pay attention to the song’s goings-on. It’s a definitive rocker; it wouldn’t have been out of place on either of the bands’ previous records (this has its good and bad points).

The band still bring some top songs to the table- the fantastic drums and gang vocals of “McFearless”(yeah, I thought it was stupid too) is a standout, as is “My Party”, apparently written about former O.C star Rachel Blison, and arguably their most danceable song since “Wasted Time”. Again, the rest of the band delivers with excellent backing vocals and the best use of a cowbell in a song since Queens Of The Stone Age’s “Little Sister”, and before that, the band’s own “California Waiting”.
There’s also the excellent “Ragoo”, which is musically all over the shop. It has an introductory riff that wouldn’t be out of place in a modern punk band, which is then mixed into a beat that sounds almost electronic and if THAT wasn’t enough, the song leads into a top modern rock hook.
Still, the band bring a few forgettable tracks as well, like “Camaro” and “Arizona”, which, oddly enough, is the closer.
There’s no really bad tracks on this album; it’s more of a case that there aren’t enough really good tracks. The album seems to lose its legs in parts and would definitely benefit from a reshuffling of the tracklist.

Throughout this record, it’s where the Followills try stuff they have never tried before that they excel. The keys, sequencer and vocal effects used in lead single “On Call”, with hugely catchy pop hooks and a Pixies-like flow; the ¾ sway and choir outro of “The Runner”, arguably the best song on the album, especially when Caleb howls his religious side- “I talk to Jesus every day”; the sparse instrumentation of the bluesy “Trunk”- these tracks stand out and are album highlights because they’re DIFFERENT. If only the band would move out of their comfort zone more, this record would have been absolutely brilliant.



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user ratings (582)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
April 5th 2007



4527 Comments


Not a bad review, but things did seem kind of rushed. A minor problem however.

I'm not too keen on these guys.

AtavanHalen
April 5th 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, take a listen to this record. It does have some of the best stuff they've ever done.

Kaleid
April 6th 2007



709 Comments


I enjoyed reading this, nice style. You should fix the Neil Young bit
I've heard lots of good things about KOL. You've convinced me to check them out. I especially want to hear 'Ragoo'

sgrevs
April 6th 2007



698 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album is so weak compared to their other two. They try to make it a lot more serious, while their other albums are much more about having fun and rocking out, and they were by far the better listens.

Also, you forgot to mention On Call is the worst single and video ever. Good review though.

samthebassman
April 6th 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album is brilliant, the best of the year.

Intransit
April 9th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

This is basically the sound of an intense bowel movement gone horribly awry. Thanks sam for wasting my time with this pile of U2 meets Wolfmother and the miscarriage that ensued.

samthebassman
April 9th 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

What is not to like on this album? fun, groovy, catchy it is all good.

AtavanHalen
April 10th 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To each their own, I spose.

Intransit
April 10th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

It's obnoxious and boring with deplorable musicianship, a lack of songwriting skills, and not a single redeeming quality aside from the fact that I could induce nightmares while sleeping with this tripe playing.

trustxdialect
April 10th 2007



1502 Comments


and not a single redeeming quality aside from the fact that I could induce nightmares while sleeping with this tripe playing.

That's a redeeming quality?

Intransit
April 10th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Well, its good to know I have a torture device handy when I want to drive my little brother from the room.

AtavanHalen
April 12th 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Odd, odd person you are.

duckies
April 15th 2007



143 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Poor album. I was actually really looking forward to this album. A bit of a let down :/ There's no stand out tracks at all, most the songs are very ordinary.

sobelecta
April 22nd 2007



38 Comments


Good album, some 'filler' but it fits well and is a good collection. Well justified review as well.

AtavanHalen
April 28th 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a lot!

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 19th 2007



3743 Comments


I really am enjoying this album. Your review did it justice.

robin2220
August 19th 2007



569 Comments


And you gave it a 2???

Everything I heard from this band was pretty bad.

AtavanHalen
August 21st 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe he doesn't like it anymore?

Iai
Emeritus
August 22nd 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

So, so much better than their other records.

PuddleSwimmer
October 26th 2007



1457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, thanks

Arizona is a really nice song, it's probably my favorite.



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