I first heard The Kooks while driving through LA for one getaway or another– which may have influenced my appreciation of them. Regardless, I love them. Their first hit and my first encounter with them was Naive (2006), from Inside In / Inside Out.
It was not long before I owned the full CD, and every song was thrilling. This is one of those bands you don’t feel ashamed for blasting at full volume with your windows down. All of the songs have great rhythm, a fast tempo and straight sass.
Here are some of my top tracks from the album:
I love the build-up in the beginning and then the flood gates open and The Kooks come rushing out. You can really hear the reggae, ska influence in this one.
Here’s another fast paced song to get you moving.
This one is a little slower, yet still maintains the Kooks sound. I love this video because it really captures the style of the band. They have that 60’s rock star appeal with dirty hair and shabby clothes.
The sophomore album, Konk (2008), built upon the edgy, distinct Kooks style of the previous album and filled in the wall of sound. The songs just have a fuller, more compete sound to them.
This next song was the first single from the album, you can hear that they stayed close to the style that earned them their popularity.
This was the first song I got really attached to after I bought this CD. It gets you pumped up and feeling like the sexiest thing in the world. I can’t help dancing whenever I hear this song.
There are songs that speak to you no matter what mood you’re in, and this is one of them. I picked this acoustic version because I think the words speak for them self, and acoustic versions are always a better way to get a feel for the artist.
The third, full-length studio album, released just last month is Junk of the Heart (2011). You can hear the progression of their style. The sassy vocals and crisp chords remain, but now there’s a softer electronic background to pull the songs together and create a more cohesive sound. I am thrilled with this CD because it demonstrates the band’s ability to experiment with new sounds. I think it’s a great sign for the longevity of a band to try new styles.
The title track, Junk of the Heart, again keeps close to the classic sound: poppy, fresh and happy– very danceable.
Junk of the Heart.
I love the open of this next song, like a glittering curtain falls down and the band starts playing. It’s a little slower than the others, creating a scene of a casual drive in an old convertible car with the wind blowing through your hair.
This is my favorite song off the album. It’s got an upbeat tempo and a swaying vocal track to contrast. You get the feeling you’re at a party in the Bahamas or some other tropical location.
All in all, The Kooks are one of my top five bands. I hope you check out some of their tracks. The great thing is that in addition to the three studio albums, they’ve released multiple EPs, LPs and singles. I’ve got 61 tracks in my library and Each time I look I find new-to-me songs that had been released at some point when I wasn’t looking.