Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Kings of Leon, Because of the Times

I try not to sit down and put forth the effort to write about something unless I have positive things to say. Not only is it a big waste of my time, but if I'm going to expend energy and thought on any topic (especially music) I'd much rather say good things about music that I enjoy. This entry is an exception to that.

Recently in the mail I received a copy of the new Kings of Leon album, Because of the Times. I was eager to hear it because I've enjoyed their previous two full-length albums and the live EP that was released last summer, and I've enjoyed each the Kings' live performances in Austin. However, after listening through the new album a few times I have come to the realization that I have very few good things to say about it.

After such a long recording hiatus since the release of Aha Shake Heartbreak (Feb. 2005) I was hoping to hear something great, but it just isn't there. Outside of a few decent tracks, most of the material on Because of the Times is either dull, uninspired, or grossly over-polished. The straight-ahead rock & roll of Youth & Young Manhood is absent, and also not present are the reflective and heartfelt self realizations of the sophomore album. Did I already mention that it's way too polished? They should have just gone in the studio and recorded these songs in an hour-long live set, and then printed and shipped it. I'm afraid that Kings of Leon might have already peaked, and it sure isn't with Because of the Times.

Because of the Times

April 3, 2007

Kings of Leon - "My Party"

Kings of Leon - "Arizona"

Kings of Leon.com


Mowgli said...

I'm sorry, I can't agree. I love the new stuff. I've tried to like them for a long time - several listens. Only with the latest album do I hear anything I like. Well, at least now we can both praise the band for something, albeit for different reasons.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree. I didn't recognize them on any of the tracks. Only the opener was a bit in line with their old songs. Seems like they changed everything of their style.
In the end I didn't like any of the new tracks, and it won't grow on me with further listening. Even worse, I already realized while fast-forwarding through the songs, searching for something to happen. Really disappointing. They're now off of my list of cool bands.

Anonymous said...

What I have heard so far is a band that is fearless. The changes in their sound don't tell me that they are on their way down but just that they are just willing to try new things. That's a good thing. They still have the hooks, grooves and melody that I love about these guys but the sounds create a different atmosphere than the other albums. The guitar pitches in Knocked up, Camaro and Ragoo give me chills when they kick in. Caleb's shreik in Charmer is classic the way he starts into each word. Sounds like the kinda album that's gonna get better with repeated listens...so all in all I couldn't be happier with what I'm hearing so far.

Mr. Curiosity said...

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

I'm all for change, reinvention and trying new things. But for my taste, the implementation of those elements in this instance fell short of what I had hoped to hear.

Anonymous said...

Have to say this album is going to be a success. Although not quite as rock as the last album, it is a step in another direction. These guys are growing as a band and will prob drag a few fans in with this effort. 4 stars

Anonymous said...

More of the same is not always the best thing, though their last efforts totally rocked and I wouldn't mind hearing more of it. They are growing as a band and are not afraid to go new places. And everytime I hear each of the new songs, I like them more and more. Now that they've moved in a new direction, the possiblilities are endless as to where they can go from here.

Anonymous said...

are you mad?? all 3 albums are brilliant and different in their own way. They are evolving as you would expect any decent band to and the new album rocks from start to finish - "it won't grow on me with further listening" Sounds like your minds made up - try opening it up and just enjoying the tunes and you never know...

Nick said...

I suppose it comes down to personal taste, but I don't understand how you can enjoy to first two albums and not like this third album. In this album I see a band who has matured, a band who like previous comments have stated was not afraid to evolve, and evolve in the right way.

I have a strong feeling that those who do have a negative stance really do not have the slightest grasp on the Kings of Leon's sound and style and you never will. I would even go to the extent of stating that this minority cry is backed by a crowd that is blind to brilliant music.

'Because of the Times' is simply stated a brilliant compilation of songs and man I just do not agree with anybody who has even the slightest negative notion toward the album. My advice, listen to it constantly for a few days while also looking up their AOL Sessions-UK promo which features 'On Call', McFearless, and My Party. If that does not save you, good luck gaining satisfaction from any type of music in any genre ever again.

Mr. Curiosity said...

That last sentence is pure gold.

24 karat.