Kicks - 1990s

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. The rest of the remarkably memorable Kicks is similarly raw, tight, and funky.
  2. 80
    The group conjure a brilliantly ludicrous trash-pop poetry, hymning girls with gammy eyes on night buses--all much more seedily evocative and enjoyable than erstwhile Yummy Fur comrades, Franz Ferdinand. [May 2009, p.77]
  3. Kicks certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it has a whole lotta fun copying it.
  4. Line-up changes (guitarist Jamie McMorrow was replaced by V-Twin man Dino Bardot) have resulted in a beefier, bouncier, more playful sound, with vocals shared more evenly and harmonies abounding.
  5. Their music is often thrilling and endlessly hummable.
  6. Kicks is less of a cocky triumph, but it still cements 1990s’ position as the torchbearers for no-nonsense Brit-pop.
  7. They retain much of the glam rock frivolity and bombast of their debut, with a diaphanous bubblegum pop sheen tacked on courtesy of producer Bernard Butler. [Spring 2009, p.76]
  8. 60
    Kicks may take its leads from The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Orange Juice but these songs about Glasgow and girls still manage to invest the skinny-tie shuffle with some fresh contemporary verve. [Apr 2009, p.98]
  9. 1990s show more ambition on the follow-up. [May 2009, p.107]
  10. This is the problem that bands face when they go from the thrill of making the first record to the grind of having to produce something equal or better than their debut. Not too many groups can pull it off; add the 1990s to the long list of bands who have failed.
  11. 50
    The riffs have gotten sharper and more jagged as the punch lines have grown duller and less imaginative. Minus his smart-alecky cheek, it's increasingly difficult for McKeown to hold your interest.
  12. 1990s have not made a bad album, but like the decade itself Kicks never lives up to its promise and contains too many derivative and unmemorable moments.
  13. 'I Don't Even Know What Time It Is' sums up the whole record, stranded between sublime '80s guitar-pop and the more recent smarminess of Arctic Monkeys and Art Brut.
  14. Kicks is not the follow-up that "Cookies" deserved, but its handful of winning standout tracks also suggests that its predecessor wasn't simply a fluke.
  15. The album is also horribly sequenced, pushing its best tracks down after a morass of prettier, more insipid melodies had fluffed you.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jul 3, 2012
    A shade off of their brilliant debut, but this album is fantastic. I give it an 8 because it is not equal to their debut. It is 2/3 brilliant songs that carry over the sound and fun of the first album and 1/3 filler. Full Review »
  2. CarlosU
    May 12, 2009
    Superb effort!
  3. RalphK
    Apr 7, 2009
    A bit more filler than the debut (a deserved 10 out of 10), but nowhere near as bad as suggested, in fact, it's brilliant. I love the beefier, glossier, T-Rex sound. don't believe the hype. this record rules. Full Review »