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As evidenced by their first three albums, England's Kooks can craft charming, often plaintive Britpop ditties seemingly at will. For their fourth full-length, the just-released Listen, lead Kook Luke Pritchard seems to have switched things up almost for the sake of doing so, embracing a much more percussive (and much less Kinks-y) approach with help from upstart London hip-hop producer Inflo and new drummer Alexis Nunez. Yet Pritchard's innate, laddish sense of nostalgia still seeps through on tunes such as "Westside" and single "Around Town," the latter replete with gospel choir. Bouncing back after the career-threateningly aimless Junk of the Heart, Listen is to The Kooks what Rocky Steady was to No Doubt — both a return to form and an invigorated, rollickingly rhythmic reinvention.

Thu., Sept. 25, 7 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 09/25/14)

LA Weekly