Young Academic’s School of Music examine the Kooks lacklustre third offering.
Platinum and Gold status with their first two albums, nobody would argue that the Kooks know how to write a decent pop tune. ‘Junk Of The Heart’ contains similar catchy indie-pop numbers but on the whole the album fails.
The reason for that isn’t the music per say, more the band themselves. Not happy with the rock pop sound that has made them famous they seem to be trying to reinvent themselves and move away from the adolescent fan base they have acquired.
Catchy melodies, jumpy pop and Britpop indie choruses have thus far been the staple diet of the Kooks and do still feature prominently on the album, though somehow just not quite as catchy or jumpy as they were before. Where the band are trying to reinvent themselves as something perhaps more meaningful, it produces some results but the results are overshadowed by the feeling that it is all a bit, well, fake.
The first single ‘Is It Me’ is honest enough but when compared to hits from previous albums, such as ‘Naive’ or ‘Always Where I Need To Be’ it seems lacklustre. Bluesy-folk number ‘Fuck The World Off’ is musically the stand out track. Different to the Kooks usual style, it seems a shame the whole album isn’t more aligned to this song.
The term make or break is thrown around in the music press far too often but the Kooks will have one more chance to break away from the mould they so successful made for themselves. Another half hearted effort like this won’t convince the music world that they are an evolving band. Likewise their loyal fans will want them to return more solidly to the catching indie-pop tunes that got them to this stage.
Whatever they do next, they should try to avoid a mediocre caught in-between album like ‘Junk Of the Heart’ is.
Young Academic Star Rating: 2.5/5