The Kooks – ‘Listen’

The Kooks - 'Listen'

Score

A questionable diversion into funk and ska makes The Kooks of the past almost unrecognisable on their fourth album

‘Listen’ comes with a piece of advice from Luke Pritchard. ”This is evolution, so take my hand”, he sings on ‘Are We Electric’, a dizzying song that sounds like it was created in CBBC’s sound effects cupboard. The frontman conceived The Kooks’ fourth album with hip-hop producer Inflo after escaping to America to write. But rather than evolution, ‘Listen’ offers questionable overindulgence in funk, soul and chopped beats. ‘See Me Now’ is an oversharing ballad during which Pritchard asks his father ”Would you be proud?”. ‘It Was London”s bizarre ska examines the London riots (”They blame the youth for disruption/’Cos they took Fortnum & Mason”). Only lovelorn strum ‘Dreams’ is recognisable, but ‘Naive’ seems a distant memory now.

Ben Homewood

Details

Record label: Virgin/EMI
Release date: 01 Sep, 2014