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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 September 2014
Music (like a lot of books) is subjective and is a matter of taste. Difficult therefore to rate such purchases as they are personal to the buyer so I will give 4 stars to all such items.
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on 8 March 2015
Brilliant thanks
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on 30 March 2007
Their first two albums are great and so is this. I feel this is sidestepping not pushing any boundaries though. It's Aha Heart Shake Heartbreak mark 2. I've had the album for a few weeks now, with no great desire to replay it. It's polished stadium rock if that's your thing. It's well produced though and despite my negative comments KOL remain one of the best bands around. This album will no doubt propel them into the mainstream but possibly to the cost of their earlier fans.
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on 24 May 2007
The third eagerly-awaited album from the Kings of Leon - and one that I have to say I find only (surprisingly) mediocre.

I am a big fan of the KOL, and as such was very excited about the prospect of a new album (their first in 3 years). But this one just doesn't meet the same standards as either Youth and Young Manhood or Aha Shake Heartbreak.

Gone are the catchy guitar riffs which so much typify their sound. Gone also is the energy and pace of their earlier songs. The vocals still retain their unmistakeable quality and the music is just as tight as ever. But the songs just don't have the fire or aggression or attitude that you find on their other stuff - all of which has added to their style and appeal.

The opening track ("Knocked Up") is OK but at 7 minutes is too long as it simply plods along and doesn't really get anywhere. "Charmer" ups the pace, and it's great (Caleb's screams add to the appeal of the song, even though it might initially sound wierd). However, it leaves you hoping that the rest of the tracks maintain this momentum - but they don't. "McFearless" is quite good (with a terrifically complicated drum pattern) and "Ragoo", with it's reggae-style bounce, is a good contrast. The album ends on a weak note (kind of like Aha Shake Heartbreak does) and can leave you feeling a bit deflated.

It's difficult to pin down a really brilliant track on BOTT, unlike their first two albums that are positively awash with them.

I'm a bit disappointed by this offering. And it might seem to some that the KOL are resting on their laurels a bit in only producing a middle-of-the-road album. I hope this isn't the case, and that with their next release they come roaring back. In my book, the Kings are still awesome, but only on the strength of their live performances and their first albums - not on the strength of this one.
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on 14 September 2015
Just love them!
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on 5 August 2014
Son loved it.
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on 26 November 2015
Great album.
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on 19 August 2014
10 out of 10
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on 13 June 2007
Maybe I'm getting older, or maybe my taste has changed since the last Kings Of Leon release, but when their new album turned up at TLOBF towers a few weeks ago I couldn't have been less interested. Which is strange as I clearly recall listening to A-Ha Shake Heartbreak for the first time 3 years ago and claiming it was the greatest record I'd heard in years. In hindsight maybe that was a slight overreaction (I'm prone to the odd bout) but its gritty, sexually charged southern rock n roll ticked all of my boxes and, to a degree, still does. The problem is, a lot has changed in the musical climate since then. They just don't seem as important anymore. Ultimately I think it comes down to the fact that three years ago the UK charts were still dominated by throwaway pop which meant that bands like Kings Of Leon and The Strokes were something to believe in. Now you can't hide from long haired guitar slinging upstarts gracing the cover of NME whilst hailing them this weeks "saviours of rock n roll". Its all getting a little bit boring and tiresome.

So Kings Of Leon have had to mix things up a little and Because Of The Times is without doubt their most mature and thoughtful album yet. Their coming of age record if you will. Drafting in long term producers Ethan Johns and Angelo Petraglia, this set of songs sees the band exploring avenues they'd only hinted on in previous releases. Things start well with the slow burning, 7 minute "Knocked Up" with Caleb Followill's trademark snarl over lines like "I love her like no other", sounding tender and vulnerable. "Charmer" is Bleach-era Nirvana let down only by the ball busting yelps made after each line is sung. "McFearless" and "Black Thumbnail" are as full on as KOL have ever been and sound all the better for it, although they are lacking in the sparkle that made tracks like "California Waiting" alight indie disco dance floors the nation over. Half way through the album things start to take a turn for the worse. "Ragoo" is the most upbeat and jaunty the band have ever been but it fails to convince, "Fans" sounds like an outtake from A-Ha Shake Heartbreak and "The Runner" is a painful gospel workout. Maybe the latter half of the album needs a little more time to sink into the consciousness but I can't help but thinking the band simply ran out of steam.

So its not quite the masterpiece the brothers Followill obviously set out to create, but it's certainly a bold move that achieves a variable degree of success. There has always been filler on Kings Of Leon records. Its just a shame they saved it all for the last six tracks. A little more quality control could have seen this as one of the albums of the year.
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on 17 November 2015
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