Saturday, June 17, 2006

Modern Life is Rubbish

I am totally charmed by The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. S sorted me out with a copy a few weeks back and I’ve only managed to play it seriously for the last day or two. I love Ray Davies’ style; when the rock and pop mainstream were singing of peace, love and psychedelia in the late 1960s, he rather quaintly released songs about village greens, grocer boys, old oak trees and Sunday Schools. I read somewhere that Davies had rejected all things American after Uncle Sam failed to grasp the whimsy of his Kinks and this album as is English as, well, village greens. The songs absolutely drip with melody, the swaggering creations of a group and a writer bloated with confidence and talent. There is nothing over three minutes here and the resulting effect is like being assaulted with a pop sledgehammer – gem follows gem follows gem. This is a delicious and really unusual recording.

After a listen or two, one realises that this album could never have been made without The Village Green Preservation Society. Although released a quarter of a century after The Kinks’ classic, its evocation of a quirky England and the country’s eccentric characters is too similar to be coincidental. Even the two album titles mean the same thing really, don’t they?

1 comment:

Sweeny said...

Good call, Martin. I read somewhere (though I'm not sure how reliable it is) that Davies' whole flow of late sixties "English" albums was the result of the Kinks' being banned from the States for some sort of misdemenour. So the idea of "breaking America" was a non-starter, and therefore Davies' whole focus was different from that of his contemporaries... Might be a bit of a simplification, but it's kind of interesting to muse where Britpop would have been, had the Kinks been allowed to tour the States...