The Kooks: Junk Of The Heart

the kooks, junk of the heartThe Kooks: Junk Of The Heart
Around the middle of the last decade, there was a minor British invasion featuring bands like The Fratellis, The Wombats, and The Kooks. The Fratellis were the big ones with “Chelsea Dagger” and “Flathead” making a serious impact on American shores. The Wombats were the fun ones with “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” mixing the right amount of poppy and novelty to be memorable. And the Kooks were the forgettable ones; I had to look up their first album to see what were the singles off of it and even after looking at the list I can not remember which I actually liked. Yet here are the Kooks releasing a new album while the Fratellis have broken up and the Wombats have gone new wave.
While I can not remember much about the old Kooks, Junk of the Heart seems to be much more memorable. For starters, the album’s opening track and lead single “Junk of the Heart (Happy)” is a perfectly crafted piece of radio pop completely with soaring strings and jaunty major seventh chords. What is actually memorable about the song is the fairly good but too short British invasion throwback guitar solo.
What is more important for Junk of the Heart is that is not where the good songs end. The mostly acoustic “Taking Pictures of You” features a fairly unconventional yet seemingly familiar melody. It is the type of song you would have sworn you have heard a million times before yet you are not sure where.
“Taking Pictures of You” is not the only song that will give you deja vu though. “Fuck the World Off” despite the profane title is actually a pleasant, mostly acoustic pop song. “Runaway” sounds like Peter Bjorn and John, if they were a little more boring.
Not to say Junk Of The Heart is boring but it just does not have a lot of character. The album feels like they are trying to master pop music more when they should be trying to inject their own personality into the music. While using a profanity in a song title gave Amy Winehouse a dose of personality, The Kooks feel like they are just trying to be interesting. And trying to be interesting is rarely interesting.
Rating: 5.8/10
MP3: The Kooks “Taking Pictures of You”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!

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