Title - 'Rippin’ Up Time' (Red River)
Artist - Dave Davies
Kinks legend Dave Davies, after some time off, has now brought us a brand new solo album of all-original material. Rippin’ Up Time, just released on Red River Entertainment, is produced by Davies and David Nolte and features 10 original new songs written in the classic Kinks style that fans of all ages have always loved.
The album begins with the guitar-heavy title track, although spelt differently, ‘Ripping Up Time,’ and progresses onward with both ‘Semblance of Sanity’ and ‘King of Karaoke.’ On an album dedicated to Max Davies and the Davies Family, near and far, along with his dear departed sister who passed away in 2014 - Rosie and Joyce - this album was definitely not what I was expecting just before I put it on. Due to the tests of time, Davies‘ vocal tone is now more weather-worn, that I understand, but a lot of this album is angst-ridden, strained, spoken-word stuff. Also, sorry, but the front cover art and most definitely the back cover art are two of the most unflattering shots ever taken of the musical genius!
Anyway, moving on and ‘Front Room,’ Davies reflects about his house growing up in Denmark Street, looking out through his front room window, but the song is too overly-packed with references and shout outs to be a cohesive track. That and the sad fact that his spoken-word style of singing is truly exposed as hiding a singing voice that just isn’t there any more. He backs that up with ‘Johnny Adams,’ another guitar-heavy track that makes you shake your head more than tap your feet.
Dave‘s accent and cockney brogue comes through in spades on ‘Nosey Neighbours’ and he backs that up with both the horrible mess that is ‘Mindwash’ and the futuristic ballad, ‘Between The Towers.’ For the last two songs on this new album, Davies brings in his son, Russell to add vocals to both ‘In The Old Days’ and ‘Through My Window.’ Not much better, he at least gives the tracks an old-school punk vibe with his Londoner vocals.
On October 14th, Legacy Recordings will celebrate 50 years of Kinkdom with the historic release of The Essential Kinks, the first-ever career-spanning retrospective anthology comprised of key recordings made for the Pye/Reprise, RCA, Arista and Columbia labels, and fully endorsed by the band. My advice would be to skip this mess completely and go buy that wonderful new 2CD set!