The Kooks: Listen review – shamelessly retro but enjoyable pop-rock

(Virgin)

He might not be quite as far along the hyperbole spectrum as Johnny Borrell, but Luke from the Kooks is certainly no stranger to ludicrous statements. The indie group's frontman is calling his band's fourth full-length a "world music album" – which may be accurate if he's referring to a world that has a west London townhouse filled with smoke clouds and Persian rugs as its epicentre. Still, it's a fun listen, with shades of Ram-era Paul McCartney, the Stones and Shuggie Otis, full of eccentric funk and boogie captured on vintage instruments. It's not just sonically that it seems retro, but in attitude, too: surely no other band in 2014 could deadpan the lyrics to Down ("down down-diggy-da-da-down-d-down-diggy") or Dreams ("I was playing the flute/ In front of the Eiffel Tower/ To a man in a starlight suit") with such assurance – not without the help of a great big stash of 60s potions, anyway.

Contributor

Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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