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Because of the Times

Kings of Leon

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Album Review

Leaning even further toward a kind of post-punk meets prog rock aesthetic than on their first two albums, Nashville-based Kings of Leon have crafted a darker, less pop-oriented and somewhat cerebral affair with 2007's Because of the Times. In fact, if Alan Parsons lent the Allman Brothers his spaceship, Because of the Times would be the resulting space odyssey. While that leads to some intriguing moments, the general move away from strong, hooky choruses to a focus on expansive, intricate and percussive arrangements may challenge casual and even some longtime fans of the band's catchy, Southern garage rock twang. That said, cuts like the atmospheric and brooding lead-off track "Knocked Up" showcase lead-singer Caleb Followill's growing maturity as a singer and lyricist, and bring to mind favorable comparisons to such artists as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. Similarly, the moody single "On Call" and the roiling, dramatic "McFearless," while not immediately hummable, do sink into your memory, revealing layers of melody and emotion on repeated listens.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Initially embraced as "the Southern Strokes" for their resurrection and reinvention of Dixie-styled rock & roll, Kings of Leon steadily morphed themselves into an experimental rock outfit during the 2000s. The Tennessee-bred quartet debuted in 2003 with the Holy Roller Novocaine EP, whose blend of raw, unpolished boogie rock was further explored on their debut full-length, Youth & Young Manhood. Such revivalist music was matched by a similarly revivalist appearance — including long...
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Because of the Times, Kings of Leon
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