Listen to Listen

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Abigail Adams '16, ARTS & LEISURE

The fourth album from the band The Kooks, is titled Listen. And that’s all you really need to do. The Kooks have a crazy way of mixing a million different sounds that all come together exquisitely and almost create their own genre. Bluesy riffs, shaking tambourines, and sassy electric guitars glide into every song almost like an abstract painting; somehow you just ‘get it’ and it’s beautiful.

Lead single, “Bad Habits” encompasses a true rock jam. Synchronized drum beats and sultry vocals by lead singer, Luke Pritchard drift through this track from start to finish. Lyrics like, “You say you want it, but

you can’t get it in/you got yourself a bad habit,” can only be sung in a rock ‘n’ roll song. The electric guitar in every verse provides an immaculate build up to the chorus. The music video accompanying the song shows the racier side of  The Kooks as a scantily clad woman dances and serenades an audience via webcam proving she indeed has a “Bad Habit.”

The most stunning song off the album has to be the heart-breaking piano heavy ballad, “See Me Now.” Pritchard sings “If you could see me now/if you could see my smile/ see your little boy/oh would you be proud?” The song deals with the death of his father when he was just three years old. Pritchard says on the bands website, “I wanted to make a connection, in a way I wrote it for everyone I know who has experienced something similar and also those who I have yet to meet.” The vocals on “See Me Now” seem reminiscent of a young Paul McCartney with punchy annunciations, pretty vibrato, and a british accent.

Songs like, “Westside” send you back in time to 80’s synthesizers while still keeping the acoustic guitar lead throughout the verses. “Keep Your Head Up” showcases Pritchards whiny vocals in a dream-like sequence backed by piano chords, acoustic guitar, and a tambourine.“Sweet Emotion,” “Are We Electric,” and “Forgive & Forget” all have a rock/alternative sound to them, mixed with a little old-school funk. Every song makes you dance, whether you want to or not.

Although Listen was released in early September, its track list produces an eternal sound you can almost never get sick of. The Kooks manage to keep rock alive in the alternative scene, without making people sleepy or bored out of their minds.