A pleasing mixture of old and new...
'Let's Go Sunshine'

The Kooks are a band that have oft been romanticised by a generation of fans. For those of us of a certain age, The Kooks’ ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ felt like a water cooler moment, a coming of age, if you will. Their latest release, ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ does not feel the same, though that is clearly not the band’s intention. Though this release is not as progressive or experimental as it’s predecessor, 'Listen', which proved to be divisive, it has its high points. Tracks such as ‘Picture Frame’ and ‘Tesco Disco’ are standouts, with the former feeling as though it pays homage to the Kinks, in the best possible way. ‘Tesco Disco’, though whimsically titled is a wonderful psychedelic track with muted vocals that might be slightly alienating to old school Kooks fans, though it is exactly the direction that it feels the band should be going 12 years after their debut.

Despite these high points, there are moments of the album that do seem to fall flat. ‘Four Leaf Clover’, whilst a solid track, features a short breakdown part way through that lasts all of a few seconds then leads into a refrain of the chorus. This short breakdown felt as though the band were heading into uncharted territory and leaves the listener yearning in frustration for it to go on just that bit longer. ‘Pamela’ is also a track that seems to frustrate, not only due to the borderline pastiche punk sound, but also due to the sequencing as it is immediately followed by the beautiful sounding ‘Picture Frame’.

With this said, ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ is a solid album, though not groundbreaking. It is clear that The Kooks have tried to deviate from their established sound in a way that doesn’t completely alienate older fans, and rightly so. Fans should still give this album a listen, though whilst it’s not The Kooks we know and love, it’s still mostly remains true to the indie sound whilst being experimental in parts.

6/10

Words: Jumi Akinfenwa

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