By Clark Collis
Updated March 30, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
James Minchin III

The songs of indie-influenced Southern rockers Kings of Leon have tended to be concise and traditionally structured. But their third CD, Because of the Times, is a more sonically ambitious beast, as evidenced by album opener ”Knocked Up,” which is nicely loose and seven minutes long. Indeed, with the exception of the relatively straightforward ”Black Thumbnail,” all the tracks here find the band experimenting, successfully, with spacey atmospherics. If less accessible on first hearing than its predecessors, the result is an epic wide-screen movie of a CD and the band’s best to date.

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