The Kooks debut album Inside In/Inside Out, produced
by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Supergrass),
is filled with teenage tales about lust, love, and losing the
love that opened up euphoric feelings for the first time. The
melodies are upbeat, the rhythms spirited, and the vocals are
lewd. The lads from Brighton, England who got their name from
an obscure song off of one of David Bowie's albums, use
dashes of jangly pop/rock with bluesy skeins, and country/folk
overtones along reggae-molded sinews. They keep the levels between
ballad and mid-tempo making odes to teenage hormones that blossom
and peak with the first budding feelings of love and desire. They
take you to a place that you either aspire to be, or remember
The album opens with a cute ditty called "Seaside"
traipsing along the acoustic folk-seamed guitar strums and lukewarm
vocals musing about being with your lover along the seashore.
The song has an exhilarating air like Duran Duran's single
"Save A Prayer". But the huge difference between The
Kooks love-soaked numbers and Duran's is that The Kooks melodies
are relatable to guys as well as flirting with gals emotions.
Though the lead singer/guitarist Luke Pritchard teases
girls in his lyrics very similarly to a young Mick Jagger,
there is rawness in the music that attracts guys and speaks about
their tangled emotions. It's not just about addressing the girls
in the audience.
Pritchard's band mates - guitarist Hugh Harris, bassist
Max Rafferty, and drummer Paul Garred - add cheerful
tones and layers of clanging indexes to numbers like "See
The World" and "She Moves In Her Own Way." The
upbeat moods of the tracks are contagious. The tunage is familiar,
crossing Mott The Hoople with Razorlight. The lyrics
are about stories taken from private vignettes like the "Sofa
Song" with phrases that speak about promiscuity and the insecurity
of being in a relationship: "Here he comes/ A man with a
loaded gun/ I don't know if he wants my girl's heart or her pearls/
I suppose I don't know."
The songs stay within the lyrical themes of releasing emotions
that surface while being with a lover. "Eddie's Gun"
has perky pop/rock registers that jump all around the place
with feel good vibes that hallow "Ooh La" as well,
riding along a sweet guitar riff and a sing along chorus. "Ooh
La" sounds like The Kooks scored something impressive with
every section of the song fitting sensually and compatibly from
the vocal presses to the mirth-filled chord movements.
The bubbling drum beats in the center of "You Don't Love
Me" are corked by kicking guitar hooks which then take off
into blues/rock plumage with "Matchbox", tacking guitar
squeezes to flashing bass moves as the animated vocals smother
over the melody. The frolicking rhythms on "Naïve"
are melodically toned. The tempo shifts in "I Want You"
twine the guitar tethers and bring out a rise in the chorus. The
shuffling drum beats on "If Only" are linked to lively
guitar gaffs that ignite pure enthusiasm. "Jackie Big Tits"
has sexual innuendos with an underlying breath of compassion.
The country/rock acoustic crimps on "The Awaits" are
attached to reggae movements and a funky vocal groove. The gentle
flow of the vocals on "Got No Love" is pillared by spurts
of guitar obliques that move into blues/rock conductors in the
ballad "Do You Love Me Still."
The Kooks have a multi-blend of songs from blues and country
to rock and reggae. The tempo movements jangle along the motions
of the vocal melody and choruses. The songs are jovial and spirited
and examine the depth that lovers feel for each other. The Kooks
recently opened for The Pretenders and are embarking on
a club tour through North America and the UK. They can be found
on MTV and at myspace.com's featured to be the new artists to
2. See The World
3. Sofa Song
4. Eddie's Gun
5. Ooh La
6. You Don't Love Me
7. She Moves In Her Own Way
10. I Want You
11. If Only
12. Jackie Big Tits
13. Time Awaits
14. Got No Love
15. Do You Love Me Still
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!