The Kooks - Inside In / Inside Out
If you ask me, there is always room for happy music in rock. Those feelgood bands who set your foot tapping and give you a buzz, make you feel good as you drive in your car or walk down the street. Heck, I'll even give Dodgy their dues as a happy band. And so here we have The Kooks, a band from Brighton who sound very clearly like they enjoy life, being in a band, and making music together.
Produced by legendary producer Tony Hoffer, who credits range from Beck, Idlewild and the new Belle and Sebastian, this album features 14 tracks, across a wide range of textures and styles. They rock, they strum, they groove and they never fail to entertain, 40 minutes of choruses and handclaps. This is a summer album released in January, songs like "She Moves in Her Own Way" demand a hot day, windows down on your way to the seaside. Luke Pritchard has a really inclusive voice, making you feel part of the experience as you enjoy the songs.
The album starts with "Seaside", which at first listen seems like an odd choice. However, the song is a real grower, contrasting nicely with the noisier "See the World". "Sofa Song" is great, early Supergrass mixed with a real intensity, the guitar solo is superb and really adds to the song.
Also great is "Eddie's Song", which takes you into "Ooh La", another piece of summery pop. "You Don't Love Me", the current single, is a punchier song, full of hooks and an excellent, individual vocal. "She Moves in Her Own Way", as previously mentioned, great, and perfectly positioned in the album.
Other highlights include "I Want You Back" and "Time Awaits", with album closer "Got No Love" bringing things to a fine ending - a languid piece of music, smooth and full of melody and flair.
This is a good, solid album of songs from a bunch of blokes who clearly love being in a band. They have a gift for writing solid pop songs, and manage to entertain whilst still remaining down to earth at the same time. Whilst not the greatest album out at the moment, there is much here on offer.