Sadly, despite the fact The Kinks had improved their musical game, it seemed that the music world was keen on forgetting them. Their previous release in 1966 Face To Face did not gather as much attention as their earlier work had, much to their despair, particularly financially. In any case, the group still went on to deliver some truly underrated Pop/Rock albums of their time, of which this is one of them. Let’s take a listen and hear this in all its glory.
We kick off with the legendary David Watts which begins with some strange chatter, before launching straight into an awesome and melodic 1960s piece that sounds excellent. With singer-songwriter Ray Davies delivering extremely well here, this is a simple, yet excellent piece of Pop/Rock awesomeness about wanting to be said imaginary person. The rest of the band is as good here, with pummeling basslines and fine piano to match this piece. Great tune.
Next along is Death Of A Clown which begins with more great piano and a basic drumbeat, before acoustic guitars enter here nicely. It’s a sad song about said clown, but has a great Poptastic feeling to this song. Underrated music this is, and it sure sounds great. The acoustic playing here is nothing short of excellent, and although this album was released in the hippy year of 1967, this isn’t overly psychedelic music. Great to hear regardless, a good three minute Pop/Rock piece that should be heard. Excellent music here. The ending has some nice harmonies here, a great listen indeed.
Two Sisters follows and has harpsichord, which is very 1960s. Another decent song filled with dark and troubled emotions, and talks about jealousy and horrible feelings that one can experience towards their sibling. A great piece of nicely delivered music all the same, and is two minutes long. A grand and emotional piece with violin towards the end, and is an underrated piece of beauty. Nice to hear.
No Return which begins with gorgeous and nicely picked acoustic guitar, before Ray Davies gets singing away nicely. It’s about romanticism here, and this music does deserve to be listened to. It simply is gorgeous, short and effective to get one’s attention. The acoustic playing becomes more prominent in the second half, and this piece does sound really good indeed. Underrated 1960s music, you should definitely seek this out if you wish to hear a different record from 1967. Beautiful song from this album.
Following is Harry Rag which is another short piece with acoustic guitars, marching style drums and a very catchy piece of music that is super good. An awesome piece of music that is quite possibly about alcohol consumption, this is really interesting listening and like a catchy village style tune. The Kinks obviously knew how to make great tunes, this is one of them. Funny and different, this is a clever song. Brilliant.
Next is Tin Soldier Man which begins with some chiming keyboards, clean electric guitars and horn parts, before going into a strange piece of lyricism that isn’t psychedelic. On the contrary, these guys sound pretty sober here. Still, a youthful and energetic piece of songwriting craft that is completely different to everything at the time, including The Velvet Underground. It’s very much a child’s story, but a good one at that. A great and catchy listen, and quite catchy, too. It ends with catchy horn parts, and sounds awesome. Good piece of music.
Situation Vacant is next here, with a dramatic piano beginning, before launching into a strange piece of music and tale about jealousy and really weird ongoing events. Musically, it is a little dated but still as consistent as the other pieces of music here. There is a clean, twangy guitar solo here. A rather dark musical tale, but classic music by The Kinks all the same. There are some thunderous drum parts in the second half to finish this off, or does it? The music comes back briefly, before fading out again, this time for good.
Love Me Till The Sun Shines begins with a very interesting guitar section, before going straight into a great piece of music and talk about prostitution, seemingly. It is seemingly controversial, but since this album got little reception, it probably failed on that. Still, a good and excellent listen, with some great bass guitar playing here. Excellent to hear, and a strange topic here, it has a sort of instrumental call-and-response with alternations between the drums and the other instrumentation, an interesting listen all the same. It ends with retro organ, handclaps and a quick fade out.
Next here is Lazy Old Sun which begins with glorious singing, interesting drum rolls and some weird musical and melodic structures here. It’s a very weird number, complete with some brief trumpet here, followed by organ. A great piece of music, it is very different and suspenseful here, likely influenced by some early Psychedelic Rock here. Still, different but good here, it sounds completely different to everything else on this album. Great sound here.
After that is Afternoon Tea which is a really catchy and melodic piece of musical wonder, about meeting a friend for an afternoon cup of tea at a café. An excellent and very old fashioned sort of wonderous listen, it has some gorgeous harmonies and some Beatlesque guitar playing here. Very clever, intelligent and different, this is certainly a great listen which is underrated and underappreciated. Great song. Cool tune, even today, it is a passionate love letter for a lady in mind. Excellent listen from start to finish.
Funny Face is next, with some wonderfully delivered and played guitar and bass guitar parts, before launching into a great and fresh sounding Pop/Rock piece. The music on this album is seemingly a sober version of what many of the contemporaries at the time were doing. Still, this song is an excellent piece of songcraft, at barely over two minutes long. Excellent song, and worth hearing.
End of the Season begins with samples of birds chirping, and has Ray Davies singing about the change of seasons here. A brilliant and effective song about approaching winter, it seems as though The Kinks here were pessimists. All the same, a good song that sounds remarkably dreary, and is also about missing a lover. Great music is here, and it sounds nicely delivered with piano in the background. It ends with more birds chirping.
Last song here is Waterloo Sunset and is a very famous song. It begins with excellently played Pop/Rock melodies here, and has Ray Davies and company putting in a very great performance here. A wonderful listen regardless, about being in a paradise, or so it seems. In any case, a great finish to a decent and well worked on album. Excellent music here, this sounds lively and incredible listening. Good mesh of musicality and lyricism here, this is no doubt a good album. This song finishes with a nice guitar parts and singing. Excellent work.
This is quite a good listen and sounds totally different from a lot of the Psychedelia that peaked in popularity in 1967. Unfortunately, this album is a little plain to listen back to today, and although, yes the material is fantastic, it doesn’t sound as good as other material by The Kinks, which as a result, probably changed their course artistically after this album. Still, it is definitely underrated.
Simplicity on record.
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