The Kooks are a four-piece band from Brighton, England, and the band’s much anticipated fourth album titled “Listen” is a surprising change from the first three. Having been a Kooks fan for years, I thought the change of pace was very refreshing. The first three albums were all relatively similar in sound, but “Listen” is very different. This album has a more funk feel than any of the previous albums. That was apparent when the band released the first single of the album, “Down,” back in April of this year.
This newfound funk added a new dynamic to the live shows. There was a great reaction to the music at the show I saw in July, and also at all the festivals they played around the world this summer. Frontman Luke Pritchard describes the new songs as “having a groove.” A lot of the tracks off of this new album are heavy rhythmically with strong drum beats. And, in songs like “Bad Habit,” there is a clapping section throughout the whole song.
Another new element that this album brought to the table was the use of a gospel choir in the background. Other British artists like Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran also use these angelic background vocalists in their music.