As with their first two albums, YOUTH AND YOUNG MANHOOD and AHA SHAKE HEARTBREAK, BECAUSE OF THE TIMES finds Nashville alternative rockers Kings of Leon recreating the majesty of 1970s southern rock for the emo generation. Sounding like they were raised as much on a steady diet of Neil Young, the Faces, and the best of Capricorn Records as they were on Pentecostal preaching--the father of the band's three brothers is himself a noted preacher--the Kings of Leon create classic-sounding but demonstrably modern alternative rock that appeals to both the vintage 1970s AOR audience and its kids.
Lyrically, songs such as "Knocked Up," "Camaro," and "My Party" sound like diary entries from an archetypal bad-boy teen, a persona that's deepened by more thoughtful tunes such as the epic closer, "Arizona," and the near-ballad "True Love Way." A solid follow-up to their earlier albums, BECAUSE OF THE TIMES cements the Kings of Leon's place as the Allman Brothers Band of the new millennium.
Rolling Stone (p.69) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "['Knocked Up'] is the Tennessee band's big album-opening saga, building from quiet to loud with guitar licks that sound like the Edge fried in okra, with ominous thunderclap drumroll..."
Rolling Stone (p.113) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "[The album shows] them exploring the dynamics within garage-quartet basics with pop-sonic flair."
Entertainment Weekly (p.75) - "[T]he result is an epic wide-screen movie of a CD and the band's best to date." -- Grade: A-
Q (p.119) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[P]roper, crafted tunes and a man unafraid to sing. Good things both."
Alternative Press (p.152) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "The guys have never been afraid to embrace a wide range of rock , while throwing whiffs of psychedelia, spaced-out guitar noodling, good ol' boy jams and more into the stew."
Magnet (p.104) - "[T]heir once tentative Southern-rock leanings devolve into zig-zaggy fits of blues-boogie ambling, garage-crud frenzy and heavy-lidded balladry."
No Depression - "[A] fierce record built on hypnotic grooves that simmer and seethe until they explode into a riot of snarling guitars and anguished vocals."
Q (Magazine) (p.87) - Ranked #07 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2007" -- "[I]ts haunting 'True Love Way' and spiritual lead single 'On Call' sparkled with a stadium-sized epic rock sheen."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's an artful, personal and hugely human album, full of life's problems, fears, fascinations and absolutions."
Clash (magazine) (p.77) - "Sonically, it saw their palette expand from chugging guitar riffs into soundscapes infused with ambient sounds and effects."