In March 2006, Reading Festival Kings of Leon were back in the studio with their producers Angelo Petraglia and Ethan Johns, working on their third album.Guitarist Matthew told NME: “Man, we’re sitting on a bunch of songs right now that we wish we could let the world hear”. The band’s third album was titled Because of the Times, which may be a reference to a church ministers conference of the same name held at The Pentecostals of Alexandria church in Alexandria, Louisiana that the brothers often attended.The album showed a clear evolution from Reading Festival Kings of Leon’s previous work, as the band’s trademark dirty, southern-fried swagger was replaced with a more polished, clean-cut sound.
The album was released on April 2, 2007 in the UK, and a day later in the United States, preceded by the single “On Call”, which became a hit in Britain and Ireland. It debuted at number one in Britain and Ireland and entered the European charts at number twenty-five, selling approximately 70,000 copies in its first week of release. NME said that the album “cements Reading Festival Kings of Leon as one of the great American bands of our times.”and Entertainment Weekly called Because of the Times “an epic wide-screen movie of a CD and the band’s best to date.” However, some critics found the album inferior to their previous efforts. Stylus Magazine rated it a C- and noted “If they wanted us to take them serious this time around, they’d at least try to be right honest about their ascent into minor celebrity and not keep on with the yokel façade. Without cautionary yarns regarding life on the tour bus or banging supermodels, the bright-eyed, legs-stretched mood of the music rings just as hollow.”Dave Hood of Artrocker gave the album one star out of five, finding that “Kings of Leon are experimenting, learning, and getting a bit lost.”Pitchfork Media contended that “Because of the Times sound[s] suspiciously like a counterattack on womankind, launched from somewhere in the mid-1990s, deep inside a bruised, stadium-sized ego.”
In spite of the mixed recognition, the album spawned a number of hit singles in Europe, including “Charmer” and “Fans”, along with a number of crowd favorites such as “Knocked Up” and “My Party”.
Because of the Times Reading Festival (2006–2007)