Latest album is band’s ‘Holy Grail’

There are many reasons to look for inspiration and guidance in great music. Luckily we are sometimes graced with an album that offers it.

The Kings of Leon have been trying to break through their cult-following and into the arena of rock gods since their 2003 debut, “Youth & Young Manhood.” Not an easy task, but with their startlingly brazen third offering, “Because of the Times,” they might just be a short step away.

The Kings of Leon know their way around their own music and by now have apparently realized their old ways are not going to be good enough anymore. “Because of the Times” is not just a rockin’ good time, but a celebration of their southern influences, kicked up a notch or two. Songs like “On Call,” “True Love Way” and “Ragoo” give the album a nice twist, adding some spunk and edge to go along with their heavy folk-rock spin.

Caleb Followill’s voice is raspy and tempered, and all the better for it. Music just isn’t nearly as good unless the lead singer sounds like he’s in unbearable pain on the tracks.

The Kings had a long way to go before they’d be given the chance that they now clearly deserve. “Because of the Times” is their holy grail in a sense. Give them another couple years, and they might get to be as good as they think they are.

Danny Gordon may be contacted at