|1. See The Sun|
|2. Always Where I Need To Be|
|3. Mr. Maker|
|4. Do You Wanna|
|6. Love It All|
|7. Stormy Weather|
|9. Shine On|
|10. Down To The Market|
|11. One Last Time|
|12. Tick Of Time|
|13. All Over Town|
`Konk' was recorded over a six week period at the tail-end of 2007 in Ray Davies' Konk Studios in north London, plus a week at Los Angeles' Sound Factory. The sessions once again united the group with esteemed producer Tony Hoffer (Beck/Air/The Fratellis). Explaining how he came to suggest the album title, guitarist Hugh says, `I just started thinking how cool the studio is, and how much of a part of our sound it is.'
`Konk' features twelve tracks. There's `Gap' which is classic Kooks, and `Shine On' which finds Luke exploring hitherto unchartered lyrical territory over the loveliest of melodies. It's destined to become another lynchpin in The Kooks' live set. First single `Always Where I Need To Be' is a tumbling rocker with a `do-do-do, do-do-do-do' refrain that might just be the catchiest thing they've ever done. `Sway' and `Mr Maker' are other album highlights.
The Kooks release 'Konk' on April 14th on Virgin Records, preceded by their new single `Always Where I Need To Be' on March 31st.
Konk isn't imbued with the sunshiny, carefree sound that its predecessor was infused with. Only the single, Always Where I Need To Be, has the band's signature effervescent quality and bounce about it. The album seems, on the whole, a little contrived with the recycling of old guitar lines and intros. It's almost as if they've said: 'Right, people liked this hook, this line, this intro; let's try and use it again'. To call Konk the sound of complacency is too cruel, but it is the sound of a band who don't seem as enthused and as ready to impress.
There are, however, some shining moments on the album. Mr Maker is a little barnstormer of a track; peppered with hand claps and slide guitar; it is the sound of a band enjoying themselves. Stormy Weather, despite having an intro which sounds like a detuned Sofa Song, is hugely likable with its refrain of ''It feels like love, love, love''. It plods along sweetly and could be the sort of track that you might bop, albeit ironically, to at an indie disco. One Last Time is a lovely piece of balladry but loses credibility somewhat with its rhyme of: ''ABCDEF and G/Reminds me of when we were free''.
Konk is not without its accomplishments, but it lacks the drive and far more importantly, the anthemic qualities of their debut. It's too early to count them out, but they'll need to try harder with album number three. --Kate Sharp
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