Kings of Leon - Because of the Times

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Aha Shake Heartbreak may have blown open the doors of fame for Kings of Leon, but their third full-length album (named for a United Pentecostal Church ministers' conference) could well usher the Nashville foursome directly to rock and roll's zenith. There's hardly a change in plans for the three Followill brothers and their cousin, and that means producer Ethan Johns, a smorgasbord of musical influences, and a cacophonous ensemble of guitar, bass, and drums. A trio of relentless rockers--"My Party," "Camaro," and the sarcastic "Charmer"--are sure to pacify those familiar with the Kings' blueprint, yet there is ripening in the band's approach heard, in several of the record's 13 songs. Reverb guitar and vocals and a "woo woo" chorus add a sinister aspect to "Trunk," and "Knocked Up" features a laissez-faire Caleb Followill crooning "She don't care what her mama said/She's gonna have my baby." The seven-minute revelation of fatherhood that opens the album leads into the U2-influenced "McFearless," a reggae-splashed "Ragoo," and the rambling English blues of "Black Thumbnail." It's a rogue element that has always left every record fresh, and this time it has Kings of Leon teetering on the edge of rock renown. --Scott Holter

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