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Album Review

The Kooks' debut album, Inside In/Inside Out, was a sleeper success story, going on to sell a whopping two million copies. It was a fabulous set, but their follow-up, Konk, wipes the floor with it. The title takes its name from Ray Davies' studio, where the quartet recorded most of the set. This direct connection to Britain's past obviously inspired the band to new heights, because the Kooks and this album are positively electrifying. Across a dozen songs (plus a hidden track), the quartet explores pop and rock in all their glory, with every number set apart from its neighbor in sound and feel. The Kooks wanted each song to be "its own little world," and they've succeeded brilliantly. Singer and rhythm guitarist Luke Pritchard is on fire throughout, a bundle of barely contained emotional energy. Vocally he's an amorphous mass of influences — Phil Lynott, Steve Marriott, Brett Anderson, David Bowie, even Van Morrison among them — but bar the occasional inflection, he rarely channels any of them directly, capturing instead their spirit and soul. Musically, his guitar adds a decided bounce to everything he plays, even on the most downbeat numbers. His performances are magnificent, but even so, Konk belongs to lead guitarist Hugh Harris, who swaggers like an epic hero right across this set. He struts out like Achilles onto the plains of Troy on the infectious '60s pop/rocking album-opener, "See the Sun." His leads are absolutely incendiary on "Do You Wanna" while adding subtle shades of color to the crash-and-bash "Always Where I Need to Be," and they're positively joyous on the bright, bouncy Beatlesque "Mr. Maker" and utterly irrepressible on the pop/rock perfection of "Down to the Market." Harris' show-stopper, though, is "Shine On," a midtempo '60s-tinged number that pushes the band into new territory, and Pritchard to new heights as well. The guitarist's work on the power ballad "Sway" is equally superb, and showcases his most emotive work. The members of the band's rhythm section are no slackers either — drummer Paul Garred brings to mind a more disciplined Keith Moon, while bassist Max Rafferty is the Kooks' linchpin with his wonderfully understated work. The album sounds phenomenal, with producer Tony Hoffer giving the entire set a warm glow that heightens the band's retro elements. That glow turns luminous on "One Last Time," an acoustic-styled ballad with all the majesty of Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," and burns just as brightly on the sway-along "Stormy Weather." Everything about this album shouts masterpiece, a set that will thrill listeners for years, nay decades, to come.

Customer Reviews


Some tracks stand out more than others like "ONE MORE TIME", "SWAY", "ALWAYS WHERE I NEED TO BE" and "SHINE ON" but I can listen to these tracks over &over forever!!!!!

A Very Good Album

This is such a good Album bringing back the classic era of ROCK.

Favorite band ever

Honestly if I had to choose to listen to something forever on repeat I would listen to the kooks they are just amazing🙌😊


Formed: 2005 in Brighton, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Arriving a good decade after the peak of Brit-pop, the new millennial rockers the Kooks revived that knowing, catchy clatter in the mid-2000s. Their debut Inside In/Inside Out appeared in 2006, the same year as the Arctic Monkeys' debut -- the two bands may have been mild rivals but their near simultaneous debuts did represent the birth of a new generation of British guitar bands, one as indebted to the Strokes as they were to classic rock -- and it was a major hit in their native U.K., peaking at...
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Konk, The Kooks
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Customer Ratings