I’m not gonna lie, when The Kooks debut album Inside In/Inside Out first dropped in 2006, it earned pretty much endless play on my iPod for the summer. Something about their infectious poppiness got into my blood, and I just couldn’t stop listening. “Naive” and “She Moves In Her Own Way” definitely got the most spins, but I’d just turn the whole thing on repeat and listen to it all day. Sadly, at some point I just called it a day with the band and moved on until I heard their cover of Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” for NME.
Apparently in 2008 the band released their second album, Konk, and lost their bass player. I never heard the album, so I can’t say much about it. However, for The Kooks, making the switch on bass shouldn’t have been very problematic as they don’t generally have crazy basslines in their songs.
Now another three years later, The Kooks have returned with Junk Of The Heart, which is basically a not-as-good version of Inside In/Inside Out. Any sense of urgency or fun has been sucked out, and we’re left with a record that screams to be played at grocery stores and doctor’s offices.
There are a couple flashes here and there on the album where I thought maybe something interesting would happen, but it never lasted long enough to really go anywhere. This is a growing trend with UK bands. Razorlight and The Magic Numbers are probably the biggest offenders other than The Kooks. Constantly making the same album over and over again, like they’re the British Jack Johnson’s. It’s all very monotonous, and not really worth listening to.
I’ll cut this short, as I don’t really enjoy writing negative reviews. There are a couple songs I might recommend checking out for free: “Taking Pictures Of You” and “Fuck The World Off” are both decent songs that kind of remind me of the feeling I got listening to The Kooks debut, but ultimately they fall short of the bar that album set.