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“Kinks in the Beatles”

The personalities of the Beatles and their songs, and their style (beatlesque) have been studied and discussed to the point that when you hear a song by them, you can assuredly feel the effortless genius but at times, the personality of the song, the playing or the singing or the lyrics, does not stimulate, as it is not really new – quite the contrary. If ever the famous Beatles charm gets a trifle stale on you, I would recommend listening to the Kinks’ best albums. Ray Davies does not owe anything to Lennon/McCartney – He was an original and a more-than-worthy contemporary. The best of Ray Davies’ songwriting often equals and sometimes surpasses that of the four Liverpudlians. More importantly, I mentioned personality. Charm. Character. A guy baring his true thoughts. Sometimes I feel the Beatles were too balanced because of the songwriting being a partnership between two polarising personalities. The Kinks on the other hand were almost always a one-man show. Post 1966, Ray Davies had an agenda, an opinion, a message, something he obviously felt deeply, to express or convey at large, through his songs. As a result his songs are infused with his distinctly English persona – a sometimes rowdy and always quirky charm, a keen and sometimes scathing wit and perhaps most importantly a concrete, sincere message which was really simple at heart. If you know about the Kinks you must have heard said about them that they were the most English of all the English bands.

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