The Kooks return to form for their sixth studio album Let’s Go, Sunshine. The band make a return following their greatest hits compilation of 2016 which also saw the band play some of their biggest shows to date in arenas up and down the UK. As a band to come out of the same time as the Arctic Monkeys, their debut albums being released on the same day in 2006, they call into question whether bands can afford to keep the same sound or if Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino style transformations are the only way forward.
The Kooks, despite what a minority would say, have always stuck to the same sound. Listen is about as far from their debut as the band have ever gotten but it’s not far. Breezy, light indie rock has been The Kooks brand since their formation and it’s never done them wrong. Festivals where ‘Naive’ and ‘She Moves in Her Own Way’ get the biggest singalongs outside of the headliners are testament to that. Over a decade on The Kooks prove that people just want to have a singalong and a dance with their mates.
Opening track ‘Intro’ is a vocal only singalong to ‘No Pressure’ which neatly ties the album in a bow, looping it with a perfect sync. ‘Kids’ is a look at the state of the country and what we leave for the kids of the next generation. The chorus is a strong, rockier thing than you’d expect from The Kooks but it’s a welcome change.
‘All The Time’ takes a different turn. A slick riff and full bodied drums are wrapped up in a neat bow of Pichard’s honey sweet vocals. ‘Believe’ is more of what you’d expect, it’s got a good balance between saccharine lyrics and the classic 00s indie beat behind it.
‘Chicken Bone’ is a cheeky little number, of course it’s cheeky, it’s The Kooks, it’s half their brand. Consider this the updated ‘Big Tits, Jackie’. It’s a tale of a woman who get’s the storyteller out of their head through various debaucherous acts. The song itself has a nice tune to it, no doubt good for having a dance to and it’ll sound ever better in the sun at festivals next year. ‘Four Leaf Clover’ is an ode to the cynics of the world which is surprisingly upbeat with it’s fast tempo.
‘Tesco Disco’ tells a more somber story of a friend of Pritchard’s who was lead down a different path by a partner and the song works as a goodbye to her and their friendship. ‘Initials for Gainsborough’ is sweet, even dreamy with the dabbling of piano jabs over the verses and big angelic voices over the chorus.
Jumping into ‘Picture Frame’ takes us back to something more like Konk while there’s sweeping statements among throwaway lines from Pritchard, pushing for the high notes in between pondering the meaning of life. ‘Swing Low’ feels bigger than what you’d expect from The Kooks, with layers vocals, the chiming of bells and the angelic chorus back at it again.
Closer, ‘No Pressure’ is an easy breezy end to a romp through Luke Pritchard’s mind. The song is quite possibly the most easily likeable from Let’s Go, Sunshine. With smushy love lyrics and big chorus singalong ‘No Pressure’ fits every archetype of a Kooks song, finishing off the album on a predictable but nonetheless, high note and looping nicely back into ‘Intro’.
Listen to Let’s Go, Sunshine here and keep your eyes peeled for a full UK tour on their socials.