Tuesday, July 26, 2011

288. Something Else by the Kinks. Ooh look they do albums too

Album: Something Else by the Kinks
Artist: The Kinks
Year: 1967
Genre: Pop


1. David Watts
2. Death Of A Clown
3. Two Sisters
4. No Return
5. Harry Rag
6. Tin Soldier Man
7. Situation Vacant
8. Love Me Till The Sunshines
9. Lazy Old Men
10. Afternoon Tea
11. Funny Face
12. End Of The Season
13. Waterloo Sunset

The Kinks released albums. This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, it's fairly standard rock band behaviour afterall. I knew the Kinks released albums I just couldn't name any of them. I can name 50% of the members and loads of their songs but when it came to actual albums I would have been stumped. To me they were a singles band with about a million greatest hits compilations. Something else by the Kinks was my first chance to hear one of their albums all the way through and enjoy 13 of their songs the way they were originally meant to be heard.

The Kinks are kind of... cute. I don't normally use that expression to describe rock bands. In fact I don't think I've ever called a band cute before, it's a first time for me. But it's definitely apt. It's like they sat down and said "Right, what's left for us? The Beatles are lovable, the Stones are dangerous, the Yardbirds are serious, the Bonzo Dog Band is avante garde what's left for us?" I like to think they rejected Ominous, Esoteric and Long-Winded before finally settling on cute as their market niche.

The Kinks write songs that want to be hugged using voices that want to be patted on the head and awwed at. They're definitely the jauntiest of the English rock bands and they're more interested in the eccentricities of English life than their own sexual prowess. They somehow managed to marry quaint with rock and roll which is a nifty trick and made them stand out in an overcrowded marketplace.

The obvious highlight is Waterloo Sunset, a song that perfectly captures the early thrills of a budding romance. Ray Davies sings like a guy who genuinely believes paradise can be found in a Waterloo sunset. It's sweet and adorable in a way that even your mother could love.

They definitely had other moods and could put the raunch into Rock and Roll as well as anyone but on Something Else they've gone for a light touch and a sweet tone that makes the whole affair a bit cute. If you've ever listened to sixties rock and thought "all very well but couldn't it be more cuddly?" then Something Else by the Kinks could well be just what you're looking for.

Influenced by: The Beatles and quaint Englishness
Influenced: Mod culture

Highlight: Waterloo Sunset
Lowlight: Afternoon Tea

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "I was expecting more, but found I was not that big of fan. Liked 2 songs. I will trade mine for a diet coke if anyone is interested?"

-Not sure if this deal is still available but if you're no longer thirsty and want a spare copy of this album it might be worth making the trade.

So would you iron out the Kinks or do you like your music kind of cute? Let me know below.

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