Label: Virgin Records Ltd
"Love me when the chips are down," sings Luke Pritchard on the surprisingly funky "Around Town," which opens The Kooks' fourth album. You have to love their shamelessness, as few bands call themselves "pop" or describe their place in music as "whores." And it doesn't get more shameless than the "whoa-oh-ohh" hook that intros and runs throughout "Bad Habit" or the down-down-diggy-diggy of "Down." A booming bass-and-drums jam like "Forgive & Forget" evokes George Michael with synths crawling out from underneath. Maybe credit Pritchard's new collaborator Inflo, whom he calls a "young Quincy Jones."