The Kooks fourth album is a step away from the usual indie Brit pop we are used to hearing from the band. Listen, the first album since 2011’s Junk of The Heart, is fresh, its soulful and it is full of rhythm.
The album takes you by surprise from the very beginning with Around Town, Alexis’s powerful drumming and the backing vocals of a gospel choir drive the funky beat of the song.
Forgive and Forget starts out with front man Luke Pritchard alone before building into a playful mix of synth and guitar grooves.
Westside, one of my favourite songs on the album, is very Kooks friendly , reminding us that tho the Kooks have seemed to re-invent themselves, they know , also, how to stay true to their roots as a band.
See Me Now is perhaps the one song on the album most long time Kooks fans are looking forward to, and it does not disappoint. I have always felt Pritchard is his best at singing ballads, and after hearing this song, I hold firm on this. The song starts out with Pritchard and a piano, showing a vulnerable side of himself rarely seen. Lyrics that pull at your heartstrings, such as, ” I learned to tie my own tie too” and ” have a drink on my upstairs” The song builds in the middle when Pritchard is joined by the gospel choir, only to end with him again, alone with the piano. It is a touching, tearful tribute to a father he lost to soon. A stand out song on the album.
The Kooks take on the London Riots of 2011 in the song It Was London. Heavy on guitars and drums, this song has a more rock edge than most of the songs.
From the very first Oh Oh Oh’s, Bad Habit became a favourite of mine. The beat is infectious with stand out drumming and other percussion such as the tambourine.
When reviewing the EP a few months back I wrote about lead single Down. Months after hearing the song, I have yet to tire of it . Once again, the drumming that Alexia brings to the band, seems to drive the funky beat. All I can say, is it is impossible to sit still if this song is playing.
A change in the feel of the album seems to begin with Dreams. It is a breezy, hazy carefree song, perfectly suited for Pritchard’s vocals. The light percussion and fuzzy snyths seem to carry you away, making this the perfect late night song.
We are Electric revamps disco, as Luke Pritchard once again shows off the falsetto in his voice. Like Dreams, the tempo of the song is slower, like the album is winding us down after a hard night of partying to the previous songs on the album.
Sunrise takes us off to an island vacation, full of swaying palm trees and Calypso bands. Rhythmic vocals, catchy guitar riffs and some punchy drumming will have you clapping along with the song.
The last song on the album, Sweet Emotions, caught me by surprise. Pritchard seems to channel the likes of Stevie Wonder with his melodic soulful vocals. It is sexy , smooth, like a good shot of Tequila, a perfect ending to what I think is a perfect album.
SONGS TO LISTEN FOR : Westside, See Me Now, Sweet Emotions