Records - Kings Of Leon (4 stars)

Kings Of Leon

Because of the Times (Columbia)

ROCK

The chances were slim but lightning did strike twice for Kings of Leon. They followed up a colossal debut with a considerable second effort. To presume they could manage a third would be churlish, no? Seemingly not. Their innate ability to understand the limitations - and therefore the potential - of their raggedy sound is their greatest strength and what makes this such a feisty, engaging record. Rather than artificially manifesting musical progression through superfluous brass sections, excessive string arrangements and other aural baggage they’ve kept things simple, concentrating on the songcraft.

Whether it’s their take on the Pixies’ dynamic bluster (‘Charmer’) or their updating of Jeff Beck’s beastly blues in ‘Black Thumbnail’, they remain charged for 13 tracks: ballistic and soulful and thankfully less horny than usual, staying true to their own beat.

Kings of Leon

Hirsute country rock'n'rollers.

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