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A new horizon for The Kooks

By Anna Coluthe |

Since 2006's Inside In/Inside Out the Kooks have nurtured a great many teenage rebels.

Twelve years later, Luke Pritchard's group has grown up. Their fifth album is their first clear break with their classic image. Indy rock with influences from folk, pop and bubblegum punk, Let’s Go Sunshine doesn't follow the path of its predecessor Listen, but instead brings out the contrasts. On this record, The Kooks have steered a course against the stream, driven by nostalgia, and they are playing on the tension between energy and fatigue, still singing of human relations with emotional intelligence.

The tension mounts with each passing track, assisted with Hugh Harris's guitar, Peter Denton's bass and Alexis Nunez's gripping rhythms on the drums. This is a solid album. Not really visionary, but solid, engaging and touching. Initials for Gainsbourg, a fine cry of love, albeit a little over-produced, contrasts well with the bouncy rock of Pamela. The Kooks don't forget to round the whole thing off with an acoustic ballad with some welcome violins (Picture Frame) before finishing on a perfectly chilled-out summertime sound (No Pressure). Let’s Go Sunshine carries no risk of sunburn: everything here is just right.


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