The Kooks – Junk Of The Heart (Virgin)

September 26, 2011 by  

After a spell out of the spotlight and a bit of a disappointing second album, The Kooks return with their latest offering Junk Of The Heart. It is an altogether more assured effort than Konk, although it still lacks a bit of the more creative riffs and more emotive singing that Inside In/Inside Out featured.

The main focus to this album seems to be on delivering rhythm and melody with strong sing-a-long choruses that will surely please the festival circuit next year. Pritchard is back on form with his trademark vocals that set The Kooks out from the crowd of recent Brit Pop/Rock bands. It is by and large an enjoyable upbeat listen although you still sense the band is lacking something that was ever present in the early days and helped define their sound.

Title track ‘Junk Of The Heart (Happy)’ kicks the album off well and sets the blueprint out early doors. The problem being is that the blueprint is terribly middle of the road. It’s not a bad album, but it certainly isn’t a great album either. It smacks a bit lazy or egotistical that the band think this is enough to release. They don’t appear to really have stretched themselves to any degree in writing this one, which is a missed opportunity. Also there doesn’t appear to be any growth within the band, it’s the same songs as before but a bit better produced and with a little less soul.

It’s not all doom and gloom. There are good tracks and as a whole it’s certainly listenable, but I doubt they will garner a new fan base on the back of this work. For best results check out ‘Rosie’, ‘Is It Me’ and ‘Eskimo Kiss’. Diehard fans will defend this one to the hilt, but I think it’s time to go back to the drawing board for the next album whenever that might be.

[rating:2.5]


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