“Face To Face” by The Kinks - album review

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TJR says

Despite the misleading cover image (which was used despite Ray Davies objection) there was virtually zero evidence of the new psychedelic revolution on the 4th Kinks LP, aside perhaps from “Fancy” which flirts with the fashionable raga drone of the day. Eschewing their beat-group roots, “Face To Face” delved headlong into a new, sophisticated era of song writing from the Kinks. This was a new brand of thoughtful pop writing, where the words and music painted equally strong colours on the canvas. All songs were penned by Ray Davies; social observations and every day vignettes were the order of the day. The song-writing growth was as rapid as it was welcome. The schizoid “Dandy” is an early highlight; the playboy is chastised before a brilliantly gritty vocal finishes by surmising that actually, Dandy’s alright. Love-hate brotherly relationship on show there methinks! It’s one of Ray’s many fine vocal performances on this LP; he’s become very experimental with his delivery and it’s very entertaining. Ye olde harpsichord underpins “Too Much On My Mind”, deflecting attention from the depressed insomniac whose “poor demented mind is slowly going.” It’s brave stuff – this is a b/s free zone, and the singer’s cathartic use of pen is to be applauded. The classics just keep on coming on this LP – “Session Man”, is another with a barmy harpsichord from Nicky Hopkins, who is actually is the centre of the somewhat hilarious tribute by Ray: “Rock 'n' roll or folk-group star, a philharmonic orchestra, everything comes the same to him. He is a session man, a chord progresh-eean, a top musish-eean… he's not paid to think, just play” Davies would later acknowledge that he was indebted to Hopkins for many great twists on Kinks works. The masterpiece track, “Rainy Day in June”, every bit the equal of a Phil Spector’s most dramatic works, has a real down to earth background which belies the monumental production. Apparently, it was simply inspired by Ray’s backyard garden sanctuary, poetically and musically. Ray explains: “I love rain and the moistness after a storm, and it was about fairies and little evil things within the trees that come to life.” On the mod-rocker “A House In The Country” young Mr Davies can barely conceal his disdain for the undeserving upper classes of the silver spoon variety. As a fantasy, the downfall of such types on the magnificent “Most Exclusive Residence for Sale” is hard to beat. Much respect is due for this brilliant creation. On this evidence, the notion of Ray Davies, a national treasure, is one which is well earned.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:35] 7.6.png The Kinks - Party Line (Ray Davies) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A2 [02:34] 7.0.png The Kinks - Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home (Ray Davies) Cerebral Pop
A3 [02:12] 9.3.png The Kinks - Dandy (Ray Davies) Cerebral Pop
A4 [02:28] 7.1.png The Kinks - Too Much On My Mind (Ray Davies) Cerebral Pop
A5 [02:14] 9.4.png The Kinks - Session Man (Ray Davies) Cerebral Pop
A6 [03:10] 9.6.png The Kinks - Rainy Day In June (Ray Davies) Cerebral Pop
A7 [03:03] 7.7.png The Kinks - A House In The Country (Ray Davies) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B1 [02:52] 6.8.png The Kinks - Holiday In Waikiki (Ray Davies) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B2 [02:48] 9.5.png The Kinks - Most Exclusive Residence For Sale (Ray Davies) Cerebral Pop
B3 [02:30] 7.0.png The Kinks - Fancy (Ray Davies) Psychedelia
B4 [03:16] 6.8.png The Kinks - Little Miss Queen Of Darkness (Ray Davies) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B5 [02:46] 9.0.png The Kinks - You’re Lookin’ Fine (Ray Davies) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [03:36] 9.1.png The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon (Ray Davies) Cerebral Pop
B7 [02:27] 8.0.png The Kinks - I’ll Remember (Ray Davies) Blues Rock / Soul Rock

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