Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kinks - Rock 'N' Roll Cities

(MCA, 1986)

You know what my Kinks reviews have in common with the band’s career? Both are interminable and depressing. Crikey, “Rock ’N’ Roll Cities”? What is this shit? I can’t imagine there’s a worse single in the Kinks’ discography than this appalling turd, which lays out the age-old laundry list of touring-band gripes in the most generic fashion possible over humiliating bar-band backing. Oh, wait! Ha ha! You made up some jokey radio station call letters, one of which is K-O-N-K!! Truly, you’re both a wit and a visionary genius, Dave! Also: FUCK YOU. And “Welcome to Sleazytown” is as bad as its title, a slow, bluesy lump of a song that once again demonstrates Ray’s near-total inability, by the late 1980s, to write – as he once did so easily – lyrics or music capable of moving his audience. Pathetic stuff. Here’s where the Kinks become a joyless, characterless, mindless husk of a band. This is bad music. It really is.

1 comment:

Donald Brown said...

'capable of moving his audience': I think in that phrase is contained the kernel of what is wrong here. I don't think Ray wants to move his audience; I don't think Ray has anything but contempt for his audience at this point. He seems to believe that the only people still listening to rock are morons (and he has a point if you look at some of the new acts climbing the charts -- Huey Lewis? Bon Jovi? nuff said), so his only task is to serve up dreck, (i.e., give the people what they deserve) because who should he actually sing his heart out for?

what's sad, here, is that you actually own these things! I guess it's just so that the evidence against Ray can't fade from view. I didn't even know these songs existed, so far beneath my radar had The Kinks sunk at this point.