KonkFeatured review by: UG Team, on may 01, 2008 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Kooks have been taking a lot of flack for a number of reasons in the past year. On one hand there's the crowd that is simply annoyed by frontman Luke Pritchard's allegedly growing ego, while there's a larger group that's more bothered by the fact that the band's new record isn't quite as memorable as the debut Inside In/Inside Out. I don't really have an opinion on Pritchard's attitude, but there are some valid issues that trouble the new record Konk (named after the Ray Davies-owned studio where the album was recorded). There are the obvious radio singles that will keep you humming throughout the day, but all too often things begin to lag and the fast forward button looks a little too alluring.
Konk does tend to rely on it's radio-friendly aspect, and it's obvious the band was going for a mass appeal. Back in December Pritchard told NME that Konk is a good pop record, which for a supposed indie rock band is not such a wise thing to say. But then again, give him credit for being honest. The first single Always Where I Need To Be is the ultimate pop song, with a pleasing melody and plenty of doo-doos in the chorus. It's likeable enough, and the band's fan base should probably like the results. It's not necessarily a huge jump in a different direction, but it's still got a pretty solid arrangement.
Guitarist Hugh Harris does deserve a lot of credit for keeping things afloat throughout the CD. Every time there's a memorable moment on Konk, it usually has to do with something Harris delivered. The opening track See The Sun revolves around a gorgeous guitar tone that sounds like a hybrid of The Cure and The Stones. Harris goes above and beyond on Do You Wanna, which is a cheesy song with terrible lyrics -- but the layered guitars are phenomenal.
The record tends to get a bit stale toward the end with songs like Shine On, which just feels like a throwaway track. I will say that Down On The Market features riffs that sound like they could fit into any Strokes' song, but it's far from being as memorable as some of the lines in Reptilia or Last Nite. // 7
Lyrics: The Kooks have been teased by the band Kasabian for basically writing songs for girls. It's hard to say if they're more culpable than a lot of the other bands out today, but there is a fair helping of relationship-related material. It's well-written for the most part, except of course, for the track Do You Wanna. That particular song just makes you want to cringe when Pritchard sings, Do you wanna, Do you wanna, Do you wanna make love to me? It just lays it on a little too thick and actually takes away attention from Harris' solid guitar work. // 6
Overall Impression: As much as The Kooks impressed with their debut, it's hard to get as excited about the latest material. While it's not as horrible as some are making it out to be, it just has too many spots on it where the music is just a bit uninteresting. Pritchard still has that charismatic delivery in the vocals and Harris' guitar work carries the entire record, but the songwriting still can't compete with the hype that's been created around The Kooks. // 7
SGplaya112, on may 03, 2008 1 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: I don't think you can define The Kooks sound. It is a big mixture of everything they like. I can defiently see their big influence (The Kinks) which comes out strongly in their lyrics. Other reviews may say their isn't as much punch as inside out/inside in, that's a lie. The lyrics are better and have a grappling effect. Hugh is one of the best lead guitarist I've heard, almost like he took a step up from George Harrison. Luke's combination of chords and strum patterns are as original as it gets. // 10
Lyrics: The whole CD has great lyrics, my opinion. There are a couple songs where it doesn't truly define The Kooks, but none the less bang up job. I feel a lot of Ray Davies coming out of Luke's mouth. Not a bad thing, we defiently need more crazy mother f--kers like Ray. // 10
Overall Impression: This is hands down my favorite album. I can only think of legendary 60 bands matching up with these guys, everyone else, like RHCP, Raconteurs, Sublime, Nirvana and so on. Do not have the fire that's in these guys. Americans can make good music, but it's pretty rare for them to make something sad or depressing into something joyful. U.S. did invent rock 'n' roll, but the god damn British def made it better. // 10
sweetpeasuzie, on may 01, 2008 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Kooks give fans more scrumptiously humm-able rock tunes with their second outing, Konk from Astralwerks/EMI Records. Similar to the band's debut album Inside In/Inside Out In 2006, Konk has a batch of fetching ditties that know which buttons to push in the listeners to keep their bodies bouncing to the rhythmic beats and their spirits completely immersed in the melodic motions. The Caribbean-reggae flavored strokes of Gap are tweaked by cool strutting rhythms and a suave vocal swagger by lead singer Luke Pritchard whose vocals deliver a series of deep aching squawks through Sway. The Kooks, by now, have developed a trademark complexion of folk-tinged dance-rock which parlays nips of Brit-pop into the mixtures that ensues into some catchy body-piercing tracks like Always Where I Need To Be, Shine On, and Mr. Maker. The raveling guitar chords of Down To The Market has a punk rock make-up while the acoustic passages of One Last Time and Nick Of Time have a bit of country-pop texturing which gives these melodies a homey family room feel like these songs were written while the band sat spread out on living room sofas. The rigorous dance-rock rhythms of Do You Wanna have a siren's caterwauling emanating from Pritchard's vocals, which oscillate between sounding apologetic and having a jilted lover's barb on Stormy Weather. Whatever you enjoyed about The Kooks music before, they still have it with Konk. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics show human vulnerabilities in the things that people long for and miss in their lives, and the things that they take for granted and shunt for no reason. The words in Stormy Weather depict such themes: What did I say/ I didn't mean it/ What did I do to hurt you/ I didn't mean it, I didn't mean it/ I'm not saying it's all made up/ There's people there to comb your hair/ But I'll seek out another soul/ One girl that's so beautiful that it feels like love, love, love. Above all, the lyrics are about licking one's wounds and putting on a brave face publicly. // 8
Overall Impression: Konk from The Kooks stays within the folk-pop keyholes and melodic rock lines of Inside In/Inside Out, as if the songs on Konk were leftovers of their previous release. Konk was produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air), who also produced Inside In/Inside Out, so there could be credence to that belief. Band members Luke Pritchard (lead vocals), Hugh Harris (guitar), Max Rafferty (bass), and Paul Garred (drums) found a niche that suits them just fine, and they don't show a desire to dissolve what they have formed. With every track, The Kooks expand on defining their trademark sound which shows hints of their musical influences from the likes of The Kinks and The Beatles, but making their songs the way the band wants to hear them. This has meant more country in their folk keys than their predecessors, and more dance movements in their rock curves. It seems to suit The Kooks like a pair of Diesel jeans designed to fit like a second skin. Some tracks on the album were recorded at Konk Studios in London, England which makes it rational to presume that this is where the band got the unusual name for their second album, although no official statement has been released to this effect, so it is only a guess. // 8
kookskid563, on may 02, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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. // 6
Overall Impression: 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. // 8