Sound — 8
The Kooks, the indie rock group from Brighton, have just released their second album Konk. Critics have been a little too harsh on the group because, let's face it, there was no chance Konk was going to match Inside In/Inside Out, the band's first album. Inside In/Inside Out was a masterpiece that they will probably never match again. The band has mixed even more acoustic guitar onto this CD, probably due to the recording sessions in California. Although the singer, Luke Pritchard, uses basically the same chords and scale throughout, the acoustic sound is a great contrast to the crashing electric chords in songs like Stormy Weather and Down to the Market. The album as a whole is solid with few insignificant holes. Pritchard and the boys did mature, but they also slipped into a little more pop this time around. Always Where I Need to Be is a perfect example. But whatever The Kooks write, it seems to turn out pretty good. A little pop isn't a bad thing for their style. The lyrics and passion lack a little, but that's about it. If you are a true Kooks fan and like their sound, you should like this album. Konk kicks off with the smooth See the Sun, which I believe is the best song on the album with it's beautiful guitar licks and catchy chords. Other memorable tunes include the acoustic gems Love It All and Sway. The acoustic guitar sound blended with Hugh Harris' awesome electric fills is a good combination throughout the record.
Lyrics — 6
There is no doubt that Luke Pritchard can sing. I saw him live and man can he is great in concert. The singing skills haven't changed on Konk, but the song writing quality has diminished some. Many of the songs sound like he is trying to serenade his girlfriend. But again, this doesn't bring the album down too much. The overall tone of Pritchard's great voice overrides the mediocre lyrics.
Overall Impression — 8
Konk is good for a sophomore album. Most bands try too hard or fail to recapture their sound on their second try. The Kooks not only recapture their catchy melodies and rhythms, but they experiment with a little more acoustic guitar which turned out nice. I recommend this album to any indie rock fan.