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Because of the Times, the third album by Kings of Leon, was released in 2007 but I only got hold of it after buying and liking the band's fourth album Only By the Night. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't like it, but I needn't have panicked.
The album opens with Knocked Up, a 7-minute epic in which singer Caleb Followill declares, "She don't care what her mama says, she's gonna have my baby". It's a great opener and a memorable song. Second track Charmer has a distinctive guitar riff and McFearless sounds like early U2. Other highlights include True Love Way and the atmospheric Trunk, as well as Camaro which sounds like it could have been included on their fourth album.
Overall this album is harder to get into than their fourth and at first I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. However after a few listens it grew on me. It definitely sounds rawer and less commercial than Only By the Night. I still prefer the latter album (sorry, hardcore fans!) but I do like this one too. I recommend it if you like OBTN as it is different, but not so far removed from it as to be impossible to like or get into.
Four stars from me!
1. Knocked Up
3. On Call
5. Black Thumbnail
6. My Party
7. True Love Way
10. The Runner
What a great album! It shows everything that one would want out of a marginally famous band (which is exactly what they were when this album was released in April of 2007). The Kings of Leon show that they can stay close to their southern rock roots while also appealing to a wider audience by utilizing a more open sound.
There is a great range of emotions displayed in this album, which I believe to be one of the keys of an outstanding record. There are the slow, relaxed songs, like "Knocked Up" (despite its shorts bursts of energy), "The Runner", and "Trunk". But there are also a number of high-energy, kick-ass songs on this album that, again, stay close to what their fans have come to expect out of them. Some of these songs include "Charmer", "Black Thumbnail", and "Ragoo".
If you want to buy this record to see what the Kings of Leon are really all about, DO IT. One may want to shy away from the new stuff, which we all know to be terribly overplayed on the radio. This is the main reason that so many people have given up on The Kings of Leon. They believe that all their songs are like the ones they play on the radio. If you're willing to give these guys a chance, buy this record. The good thing is that because it's not their latest album, you can easily find it on sale, so that's always a big plus. Who doesn't like cheaper music?
In conclusion, those who are curious about the sound of the Kings of Leon should definitely buy this record. It really allows you to see how this young group of brothers has really grown to musical phenomenon they are today by delving into the marginally famous material they put out just over three years ago.
Because of The Times is the third outing from the amazing Nashville rockers, Kings Of Leon. Brothers Caleb, Jared and Nathan and cousin Matthew do not fail to deliver on what is possibly my favourite out of the four KOL albums.
The title of the first track, Knocked Up is basically self explanitory. Caleb crawls along the words as if he means every single one and you can't help but think if he's going on experience. We then go into the bass driven Charmer - calebs screams in the chorus only endear us to him further. On Call, the first single from the album is as mainstream as it is underground. I could describe every song, but I guess you get the picture!
My favourite however, has to be Fans. Not surprisingly, its the song which gets the crowd to fever pitch (it certainly did at the Glasgow gig in December).
Kings Of Leon have a faithfull and growing following here in the UK and they are getting more known in the US but to be honest (and a bit selfish I suppose!), I hope they don't forget how adored they are here! I have loved KOL since before the first album, Youth and Young Manhood, came out - and looks like I will for a long time yet.
The third album by Kings Of Leon was released in 2007 and is another great installment from one of the greatest rock bands in the world today.
If you have heard the first two albums, Aha Shake Heartbreak and Youth and Young Manhood you will know what I mean when I say this album is totally different from anything they have done before. I think in this third album we begin to see Kings Of Leon eveolving into what they really want to be.
The album still has raw qualities but not as much as the previous two albums. It is influenced alot less by their southern roots than the previous two albums and although it isn't my favourite I still think it is brilliant.
The singles 'On Call', 'Charmer' and 'Fans', are all great rock songs and possibly some of Kings Of Leon's best. Although, I have always felt they leave the best songs as album tracks which is no different on this one.
The best song for me is without a doubt 'Ragoo' which has a nice and very funky guitar riff backed up the great bassline you can expect from Kings of Leon and of coure Caleb Followhill's awesome vocals.
This album starts off great but sort of tails off in the last three tracks or so. However, still a great album.
This is the album that got me into the kings of leon so I won't really be making any comparisons between their previous works. I first hear about Kings Of Leon by hearing the excellent "Mollys Chambers", from Aha Shake Heartbreak. I think every person on earth must have heard this song. I then decided to buy "because of the times" after hearing some of the singles on the radio. I have to say that this has to be one of my top ten albums ever.
The album gets off to a great start with Knocked up. This song is an actual masterpeice. Seven minutes long but never boring it builds up briliantly. On thing you find out about Kings of Leon on this album is how unlike anyone else they are at the moment. This is shown most noticeably on charmer. This song is so strange. In the best way. Calebs vocal style may not be to everyones taste though. The way he mumbles a bit and his voice cracks. I however love this and think it is brilliant. The musicianship is top notch. I think Arizona shows this off the best.
All in all this album just has to be heard, brilliant.
So, The Kings of Leon hey? From a southern American state to nearing global domination in about five years. However, for four of them years they hardly looked like 'breaking it'. Their debut full-length album "Young & Young Manhood" was an excellent first effort that seemed a bit 'different' to the majority of stuff out there. "Aha, Shake Heartbreak" was a great performance for the so-called difficult second album. But it ultimately appeared as if the Kings of Leon were destined to be a band that the majority liked but only the minority loved....
Then something happened. "Because of the Times" was released.
Released on April 2, 2007 in the UK on Hand Me Down it stormed to the top of the album chart and give the band radio airplay that it only sparsely received prior to the release. The album's 13 tracks show not so much the maturity of the band, but the development of them. "Youth & Young Manhood" consisted of a number of short, little ditty's that were musically very basic when it comes to structure but now they show a skill in their music that is rarely surpassed by any bands of a similar ilk.
Opening number "Knocked Up" is a seven-minute build-up that is the perfect accompaniment for driving along the coast on a perfect summers day. It's melodic, psychedelic, moving and everything in between. And because it's all these things, it's like nothing they'd produced before. An eye opener to say the least. Yet it works superbly, and Caleb Followill's vocals providing an excellent compliment to it with haunting yet gravely words that are so distinguishable from anyone else out there.
Track number two was one of the album's singles, "Charmer", and is one of a kind to say the least...the high-pitched yelps in between lines by not be to everyone's tastes but they have an infectious element to them that make you want to listen again and again. Along with a thick baseline, it is a speedy little number that is similar to singles from their previous albums. It's a method that works brilliantly, time and time again.
Other singles taken from the album include "On Call" and "Fans". The latter showcases Caleb's haunting vocals. "I'm on call, to be there" just sends shivers down the listeners spine when the track finishes. "Fans", which is stuck down at number 9 on the album listing, proving the strength of the line-up, is an excellent song to hear live by them. Acoustic guitars that burst into life for the chorus is a technique that rock bands have used for decades, but it still works, and always will when it's done as well as this.
Is there a weak link to the album? Given the simple option a 'yes' or 'no', the answer is 'no' every time. In their previous releases there was the occasional track that you'd skip over after a couple of listens as it was, with all due respect, filler music compared to other tracks on the album. On Because of the Times however, despite the strength of the singles, the rest of what's on offer is just as worthy to tie the shoes of musical excellence. Other personal stand out tracks include "Ragoo", "Black Thumbnail" and "Camaro"...you'd also be interested to note that it's available for as little as £3.98 on Amazon at the moment due to the release of their new album...dare I suggest that it may be getting a few purchases in the coming couple of weeks?!
On the surface they may not appear as media-savvy as someone like Dave Grohl or have the extended back catalogue that Jack White can possess, but they've worked their socks off and toured as much as anyone out there in the past two years. A headline performance at Glastonbury this year proved they'd reached the big time. It included a premiere play of a new track from their fourth studio album, which was released on September 22nd. This single has now become a number 1 in the UK; "Sex On Fire", showing that the future is bright, the future is Kings of Leon's.
This third album from Nashville group Kings of Leon is their best yet, full of fantastically-written lyrics & musical brilliance.
The track listing is as follows:
1. Knocked Up
3. On Call
5. Black Thumbnail
6. My Party
7. True Love Way
Highlights for me include On Call - a truly amazing track which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, and is a real favourite with the crowds when KOL perform live.
The opening track, Knocked Up, doesn't feel 7 minutes long at all & really stats the album off in good stead, and McFearless has an amazing drum introduction & bassline.
Fans, one of the singles released from this album last year is instantly recognisable & really carries on the feel of the album - there really is no filler track on this album that you forward on.
If you are new to the Kings of Leon then I would recommend this album as a really good starting point, and in no time you will be counting down the days until their fourth album is released in September 2008!
First of all I must state that I am a huge fan of the Kings of Leon.
Well let me begin with already two successful previous albums this is the third album called Because of Times from these guys and what an album. The Kings of Leon consists of five male members with the first being Caleb Followill on lead vocals & rhythm guitar. Next is Jared Followill on bass then Matthew Followill on lead guitar and finally Nathan Followill on drums.
They come from Jackson in Tennesse, USA. The boys spent most of their childhood cruising around Americas deep south with their father Leon who was a traveling church preacher and their mother who became the boys teacher whilst on their travels. Due to their travelling background the deep south blues and country flavour has influensed their style, more so in their debut album Youth and Young Manhood which was released in August 2003. Other influences are as diverse as U2, The Pixies and Joy Divison.
Their secound album Aha Shake Heartbreak was released in November 2004 in the UK and early in 2005 to the U.S market and voted one of the best albums of that year. Even though they are from the U.S their fan base is at its biggest in the U.K, with live gigs that just ROCK(trust me I have been many times). They have played large events such as Glastonbury Festival and V Festival.
Alot of their previous tracks have been used in a number of TV shows and even movie soundtracks i.e the hit U.S TV show The Shield and in movies such as Stuck on You(2003) and Disturbia (2007). Some of their tracks feature in video games like EA sports Fifa Soccer and the Playstation 3 game Motorstorm.
Because of Times (2007) is the Kings of Leon eagerly awaited return album. The front cover consists of a black background with an x-ray of a human skull with an exploding light bulb above it. This album is named after a booklet given out at a church gathering when they where kids.
With rave reviews from NME and Q magazine, this album has thirteen rocking tracks.
The first single released from this album was On Call in February 2007 and reached number 18 in the UK singles chart. It has a new sound from the band by using a distorted effect on the mic. The second single from the album is called "Fans" and was released on July 9, 2007 it reached number 13 in the UK. This single was a trbuite to the love and support of the english fans mostly London. Next will be Chamer the third single to be relased in October 2007 this has some good lyrics and the first time I listened to it made me jump with the lead singer Caleb screaming out part of the lyrics !!.
Some of my favourite track from this album are McFearless this track has a great electric guitar and drum intro which makes you nod ya head . The next track is Black Thumbnail this has a good upbeat riff to it the track starts of fairly calm but then leads into a real frenzy. Track 12 Camaro reminds me of an old 70s classic rock tune, very Led Zeppelin and a great guitar solo about 1.25 mins into the track. Trunk is a more melow track from the album slowing it down a little with a dark tale about being in the desert and some lovley sound effects with the echo .
'Knocked Up' 7:10
Well like the title states this is about getting a girl pregnant and in this case the couple both run away and they don't care what anybody says about them, they just want to be free lovers having fun. This whole record is a journey and with a killer intro a great start to the album.
You can really hear the Pixies and Joy Division influence on this track. This has a really cool bassline and tells a story about a flirtatious older woman who is married to a preacher from West Virginia.
'On Call' 3:21
On Call is about the two sides of the lead singer Caleb. This track took me a few listens but is now one of my favourite tracks from the album, a real grower !!
This one came form a bassline that Calebs little brother wrote.. this track has a great elecric guitar and drum intro which makes you really nod ya head.
'Black Thumbnail' 3:59
The band wrote the lyrics within two seconds before they went into the studio. This has a good upbeat riff to it the track which starts of fairly calm but then leads into a real frenzy.
'My Party' 4:10
I like this tune it was one of the first songs from this album that I heard when I saw them live. It is a kind of dance song in their very own and unique style, they really want you to stand up and dance to this one.
'True Love Way' 4:02
A real fist pumper. But not the best track on the album.
With a reggae type song you can hear every string plucked. It is all about cheating and getting caught. A very happy upbeat tune but over before you know it.
As I said previously this tune is dedicated to the bands English fan base but more so the London scene and with some great lines such as all the rainy days, they ain't so bad when you're the king.
'The Runner' 4:16
When the guys were touring in Belgium they were in pretty bad shape and Caleb done a soundcheck on his own and came up with this track (and one of the longest on the album). With a haunting intro it is one of the most mellow tunes and you can tell by the lyrics he is really troubled even asking for help from Jesus. A real low point for him and the band but it is refreshing to hear a song that is influenced by their troubles.
Another more melow track they really slow it down for this one and is about a dark tale of some woman tied up in his trunk in the desert with some lovley sound effects especially the echo.
With a very strong Joy Division bassline and some guitaring that as I said that reminds me of an old 70s classic rock tune very Led Zeppelin and a great guitar solo about 1.25 mins into the track.
The bands obsession with the desert and they really love Arizona, this is the longest track of the whole album. A real foot taper as it goes up and down.
Well I hope my points have helped and you do consider buying this album or even have a preview listen and enjoy the stories that each track tells in this album. There are alot more productions in this third album and with some great use of experimenting with instruments and sound effects, and also please remember to try and have a look at their previous two albums .
If you really like them then they are touring the U.K at present and their live sets are so so good sending the whole place ROCKING!!
You can buy this album from Play.com and Amazon for about £6.99.
You can also listen to some of the tracks on the Kings of Leon Myspace page and on the itunes online store where you can get a 30 second preview of every track. You may in turn wish to visit their official website at www.kingsofleon.com.
The first thing that needs to be said about this album is it is not going to be to a huge amount of people's taste and it isn't to mine. Having said that Kings Of Leon are having huge success off the back of this album and it isn't difficult for even me to see why.
13 tracks in total, rock in style, some upbeat and faster paced, some mellow and much more downbeat. This isn't the kind of music I find that you can rock along to, but it is great to have playing in the car or as your doing something else which doesn't require total concentration (on the music that is!)
Generally the album flows in style and you don't notice the tracks changing all that much. The lyrics are interesting, but not in any way lyrics that will stick in your mind for years to come and nor are they lyrics you can sing along to.
This is a good, solid and quality album but it's not an outstanding album in any way shape or form. If you have got a tenner to spend, then this is an album to consider buying, but just don't don't expect it to bring a smile to your face each time you listen. On the other hand, you won't feel like you've been bitten in the back side by commercial rubbish, this is a far cry from many of the albums being produced today by the big record labels. To me, that's one of it's biggest selling points - its great in originality.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Knocked Up
3 On Call
5 Black Thumbnail
6 My Party
7 True Love Way