- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2006

Kinks founder Ray Davies will release “Other People’s Lives,” his first-ever solo album, on Tuesday. In an age where ex-Beatles can’t convince many to fork over dough for their new stuff, Mr. Davies’ 13 fresh cuts — nearly all of them solid — will be eligible for “hidden gem” status as soon as they hit the streets. But no matter: Most of the Kinks’ songbook is criminally underappreciated, known and revered only by discerning Kinknoscenti. For starters:

Party Line The kickoff track of the Kinks’ 1966 tour de force, “Face to Face,”— it cws with the ring of a phone, never looks back and makes the Strokes sound like skiffle.

Days — Yes, it’s on “The Kink Kronikles” compilation and has been covered by the likes of Elvis Costello and the late Kirsty MacColl, but this beauty — blame a muddy production — has never made it to the classic rock masses like our favorite ladies “Lola” and “Victoria” have. It’s Mr. Davies’ answer to Lennon/McCartney’s “In My Life” and Jagger/Richards’ “As Tears Go By” — the wistful ballad wise beyond its author’s years.

God’s Children — Originally released on the soundtrack to the gonzo film “Percy,” this is Mr. Davies’ sweet-natured, Luddite hymn to the purity of human life.

Education — The history of the world, as only Ray Davies could tell it: with driving guitars, a pulsing beat and snide wit.

Sitting in the Midday Sun— Not much besides “Celluloid Heroes” has survived from the Kinks’ neglected midperiod. This satirical slacker ditty, from 1973’s “Preservation: Act I,” should have.


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