May 1, 2008

Test Spin: The Kooks

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The Kooks lead singer, Luke Pritchard, might have slipped into a bit of a depression over a girl, but resisting the uppers was a great decision. This broken heart has written an album full of depressing lyrics that, somehow, doesn’t dishearten the listener.
Of the 14 tracks on Konk, only three lack some semblance of sadness, yet those three don’t rank as the album’s best. Rather, the gloomier single, “Always Where I Need to Be,” and the fifth song, “Gap,” take the gold: On “Always,” Pritchard sings, “I am always where I need to be, and I always thought I would end up with you, eventually,” while on “Gap” he begs, “Don’t go and take my love, I won’t let you, I’m saying please don’t go.” Pritchard doesn’t make you feel bad for him; rather he makes you feel the normalcy of being heartbroken over the end of a relationship.
As for the rest of the Kooks — they do an excellent job of using their signature acoustic-electric blend to hide these despairing lyrics in their sometimes laidback, sometimes upbeat sounds.