The Kooks since they tried a radically different approach with Listen in 2014. The English band had swapped the working class aesthetic and catchy arrangements of its first three albums for a more funk oriented sound that was hit and miss at best. Their latest effort once again takes The Kooks a long way from their humble roots, but this time out, the transformation is much more successful.
Lead singer-rhythm guitarist Luke Pritchard’s vocals soar above the U2 style atmospheric instrumentation and inspirational message of the opening numbers, “All The Time” and “Believe.” Let’s Go Sunshine isn’t as impressive on the final two tracks but there’s plenty of good stuff along the way. Acoustic and electric guitars playfully mix with percussion on the quirky love song “Honey Bee,” and acoustic guitar is also expertly woven in the massive sound of “Fractured And Dazed.”
“Pamela” is a rush of guitar-driven rock with intriguing lyrics like, “You touched the ground and I fell in love with you” and “Oh what an enigmatic woman.” The breezy pop of “Initials For Gainsbourg” has striking imagery like, “Did you see that shooting star and it’s still only daylight?” as well references to Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin and Bonnie and Clyde. The catchy “Four Leaf Clover” harks back to the earliest days of The Kooks, proving these guys can experiment and still not lose their identity.