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The Kooks



Listen is a radical departure from the indie-pop The Kooks have built their career on. So different, in fact, they could have renamed the band. According to The Kooks, that is.

In reality, the differences between this album and their back catalogue are superficial. The Kooks are an indie-pop band, and this is still a pop album. That’s not an insult either – as a band they helped revive Britpop in all its catchy glory. Listen tries way too hard to escape the label, unsuccessfully.

At first, tracks such as Down do sound different to classic Kooks. Luke Pritchard teamed up with hip hop producer Inflo, and the result is decidedly R&B. Pritchard even uses the word ‘diggy’. But beneath these ‘new’ influences lies the same familiar subject matter (chasing girls, hurtful rumours) and catchy hooks (plenty of ‘la-la-las’). Tracks that embrace indie-pop with an R&B twist actually work well, like up tempo Are We Electric? or the slow piano ballad, See Me Now. But then there are others that crumple into annoying cliches, such as the gospel-inspired Forgive And Forget. If only we could.

Fans will always love The Kooks for the pop band they can be at their best. It’s a shame they’re too naive to see it.

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