Ray Davies – Working Man’s Café

February 20, 2008

Second solo album from former Kinks frontman Ray Davies, who is now mostly based in New Orleans, the city which provided much of the inspiration for the music here. The music is the sort of relaxed rock and roll heard on his first full length solo album, but what really elevates the album are the incisive, often witty lyrics and their subject matter, which, true to the title, concern the working class for the most part. Refreshingly, Davies doesn’t deal with them in the abstract, but rather his songs seem informed by close observation, resulting in the best songs here, “Vietnam Cowboys,” “Morphine Song,” “No One Listen” and the title track. All in all, this probably doesn’t quite reach the heights that his best work with the Kinks did, but it’s still a solid album by one of rock’s best songwriters.



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