With a career that has stretched back almost twenty years at this point, The Kooks have still managed to maintain an extremely devout following since they first emerged with their standout debut album 'Inside In / Inside Out' in 2006. Since then, their trajectory has been an unsettled one as they looked to continue the fresh and upbeat indie-rock aesthetic that first made them household names. But with the departure of guitarist Peter Denton in 2018, they are now exploring something new for their sixth studio album '10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark', a record that looks to broaden their horizons.
Prior to this release, The Kooks had occasionally dabbled in new and adventurous textures, but nothing that would drastically alter the perception many already held them in. But throughout '10 Tracks...' we are treated to one of their most diverse offerings to date as they adopt a heady blend of electronic and psychedelic influences that show them in a more matured light. While this ultra glossy approach may have its highlights scattered amongst the breezy moments, it does still feel very much like a work in progress as they sometimes find it hard to commit to any particular direction on here.
Although '10 Tracks...' does manage to keep the vibes fresh and vibrant throughout, it doesn't have much in the way of memorable earworms to give it a lasting impact. The album moves steadily along without making too much noise, which can sometimes feel like it is missing that bite they have been so eager to showcase before.