Never ones to shy away from their roots, indie-rock group The Kooks have always embraced the musical stylings of Bob Dylan, The Who, Blur and more in to their music but pushed to obtain new heights in their sound. With the release of new remix project Hello, What’s Your Name? the British band give way to a plethora of big names in electronic remix to vamp up some of the most innovative sounds in their arsenal and in doing so, the band may have just reached a point of musical incoherence.
Brand new track Creatures of Habit was handed over to bass act Jack Beats and reworked to appear on the album; a shame really as such a new and innovative work hasn’t really been given the opportunity to stand out on its own and the character of the song and the mastery of the group is lost in a wish-wash strip back of tinny editing and synthetic reworking that destroys the originality of the song. Thankfully the reworking of Forgive and Forget by Isabella Summers of Florence and the Machine retains the soul and refreshing sound of the original and is one of very few tracks on the release which can be called truly collaborative as elements of the Florence and the Machine style are obvious and work amazingly with the original work; it’s the saving grace of the album.
The Kooks have certainly never been afraid to approach a wide range of genres within their music and have always embraced certain styles in to the production of their albums however Hello, What’s Your Name? doesn’t do anything for the group’s reputation as innovative manipulators of sound, it only leaves you wondering why they felt the need to follow the recent trend in remix releases and turn out something unnecessary just to appease the expanding electro scene when it is uncomplimentary to their classic talent and style.