Album Review: The Kooks – Let’s Go Sunshine (2018 LP)

The Kooks’ 5th Album Let’s Go Sunshine is the perfect accompaniment to the Greatest Hits Tour they’ve just embarked on, modestly named their “Best of Tour.” The Brit band have had a big year, opening for music royalty The Rolling Stones, and in the new year they’ll be rolling in to Beyond the Valley in Lardner just outside Melbourne.

The new album, set to be unveiled on August 31, has been preempted by the release of five singles. 14 years in to their career, the band attempted to write this album as a follow on from their previous album Listen, before scrapping that idea and producing something unapologetically Kooks. The album opens with a snippet of an acapella version of “No Pressure” and fittingly closes with the full song, rounding off the album with the light-hearted authenticity The Kooks embody.

The Kooks have stuck to their Brit-pop roots with the record, layering the album with tributes to classic rock, blended with their jazzy blues hooks that the band promises will make you want to dance.

Lead singer Luke Pritchard explains the album started from a dark place, only to fall in love during the album writing process. This has done wonders for the depth of the album, each song highlighting a different aspect of the band’s long resume of skills, all tied together by the animated percussive beats and strong harmonies that make The Kooks unforgettable in an era of indie pop bands.

From songs on their Debut album Inside in/Inside out like “Jackie Big Tits,” Let’s Go Sunshine flaunts the band’s new found maturity in life and music without losing their joviality that makes their live performances a crowd favourite. Tackling bigger issues than big tits and cleverly intertwining aspects of early influences like the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan into their refined production, their classic pop rock legacy will endure long past their career.

“Swing Low” and “Picture Frame” are groovy, moody, seductive anthems about realistic love with Pritchard’s rasping vocals showcased. “No pressure,” “Fractured and Dazed” and “Four Leaf Clover” possess the catchy Kooks beat that catapulted songs “Naive” and “She Moves In Her Own Way” to mainstream success back in 2006.

Returning to Australia over New Years and headlining Beyond the Valley Festival, we can’t wait to see this album play out live: the dreamy “Tesco-Disco” with a sea of waving lights in the crowd or a belter crowd sing along to “All the time?”. You know you’ve made it when putting a set list together is a task in itself. 

However, If you’re looking for that one song to add to your “all time favourite songs” playlist you’re probably going to be disappointed by Let’s Go Sunshine. It’s more of a good body of work you would listen to at Friday night drinks, than one great individual song you would confidently use your aux privileges on.

THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Let’s Go Sunshine is available Friday, August 31st

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