Ray Davies: Americana (Legacy) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #60 - Father John Misty



Apr 19, 2017 Ray Davies Bookmark and Share

Americana is a collection of comfortable rock ‘n’ roll songs detailing Ray Davies’ relationship with, and travels across, America. When he does satire it’s too safe and detached (see “The Deal”), though all the songs are pleasant enough. But when the former Kinks frontman adds real emotion to the writing and performance, the results soar. “Poetry”with its nod to Cockney Rebel’s “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” in both verse melody and deliveryis outstanding, not just within the album but his career, making you really feel what’s inside it, especially with the way he conveys the chorus. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Cowboys” is another heartfelt number, while “I’ve Heard That Beat Before” gets the right mix of observation, emotion, and detachment. After a so-so intro, “A Place In Your Heart” elevates when Karen Grotberg (of The Jayhawks, Davies’ backing band for the album) takes over the lead vocal. Davies and Grotberg also duet on the affecting “Message From the Road.” It’s easy to see what Davies is aiming for with the wordplay of “Change For Change,” but as a whole it doesn’t come off, perhaps there’s not enough poetry. And while sometimes the lyrics seem questionable when considered in the context of that art form, overall Americana is an enjoyable listen with a couple highlights any fan wouldn’t want to miss. (www.raydavies.info)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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