Monday, 12 September 2011

Review: The Kooks - Junk of the Heart

 Being one of the few survivors of the indie rock bands who rose to fame in 2006, Brighton's The Kooks come bouncing back on album number three, Junk of the Heart, an album which sees the four piece going the same direction as many of their peers and ditching the stripped down rock and roll sound that graced their first album and experimenting more with synthesizers and keyboards.
 In spite of this, Junk of the Heart still carries the same kind of attitude and uplifting simplicity that the public first fell in love with The Kooks for. Be it in the chirpy experimental keyboard and acoustic guitar led tracks such as Rosie sounding a little like what might have happened if The Kinks had made new wave music and their public influence from The Kinks remains prominent on the slower more stripped Taking Pictures of You, which alongside other acoustic track Petulia are made incredibly heartfelt and mellow.
 Much of the album maintains the groups traditional style of playing some wild rock music that has a chilled out vibe to it, such as Is It Me which sounds chilled out, yet has all the qualities for a cool party rock song, also seen in Eskimo Kiss which sticks to the more traditional stripped down sound seen on previous albums.
 What Junk of the Heart doesn't have, however, is a truly standout song. There is no She Moves in Her Own Way, or Always Where I Need to Be on this album. I can't imagine any song from this album appearing as a single on the charts now, which shows how indie rock bands like The Kooks are starting to fall out the public eye, and also shows a sheer decline in quality for chart music. It's for that reason that I don't view this as a problem, as these tracks sound better as a collective anyway.
 All in all, Junk of the Heart is a pretty snazzy feel-good and chilled out listen. It shows that while The Kooks are able to get more experimental, they can also stick to their original style and personality. It shows the band on a return to form, and shows that there is perhaps some hope left for a genre which seems to be in serious decline.

 The Kook's Junk of the Heart is out now via Virgin Records.

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