Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
on 6 July 2007
Ok, time for me to buck the trend here. I don't think this record is really all that good. I've given it a bit of time, just to make sure and it is a bit of a grower, but my ultimate conclusion is that it is going to date pretty badly. I'll explain why in a minute.
First impressions were unfavourable. This record just isn't much fun. The first two Kings of Leon albums were. They were jumping with fun. Essentially they were writing two and a half minute songs with not a second wasted. You couldn't understand a word, but it didn't matter. It was the sound of the guttural groans, the aesthetic that was interesting. The guitars were economical yet unpredictable and interesting. And it was just pleasant. I didn't know what to think, where they were coming from - but I liked it.
The positives on Because of the Times (as uninspired a title as I've heard this year) are Caleb Followill's vocal, which is expressive and (almost) unique and the drums which seldom follow traditional rock drumming patterns, instead rattling on the snare and hi-hat a lot.
The negatives are the lack of variation in sound, not particularly interesting guitars or bass, overlong songs, and lack of variation in tempo.
It's a fairly emotional album, but so were Pearl Jam's records, and ultimately that is what I'm reminded of. Who listens to Pearl Jam anymore? They have, as I suggested at the start of this review, dated. And I think Kings of Leon are in danger of slipping into that 'uncool' territory that Pearl Jam currently reside in - if they keep this up.
Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps I'm the only one who can't bear to touch his Pearl Jam records anymore, but I have to stand by my instincts. Sorry.