British band, The Kooks- Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris, Alex Nunez and Peter Denton- mark a decade long career by releasing a ‘best of’ album, Best Of…So Far. Taking the most popular tracks of their four albums Inside In/Inside Out (2006), Konk (2008), Junk Of The Heart (2011) and Listen (2014), we revisit their guitar driven indie pop rock sound.
The Kooks open strong with the ever popular Naïve. For the first bit of the album you are reminded of why their music was successful. They have a knack for producing some infectious singable melodies lines and hooks accompanied jangle-popping guitar as in Always Where I Need To Be and She Moves In Her Own Way. Much of their earlier song writing lacks range and sound too similar as if they could be mashed together into one continuous song. However, I particularly like the songs included from their 2014 release Listen such as Down and Forgive & Forget. When so closely compared to their earlier stuff, it is clear that they are developing their sound as a band by getting out of their indie pop rock comfort zone and including elements of R&B and blues creating more interest in their music.
Best of…So Far is created and released perhaps a little premature. I think that if they continue in the vain of Listen, they will produced their best work truly worthy of the title ‘Best Of’. Their newest release suffices as a compilation to mark their 10 year anniversary, but I think the best is still to come for them as they mature and develop their writing. Having said that, for those fans who came of age in the naughties era this album will give you a dose of nostalgia; this was the back drop to our social scene.