The Kinks, Word Of Mouth

Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Word Of Mouth

The Kinks

The appealing "Do It Again" would have ranked as a fine single under other circumstances, but coming a year after "Come Dancing" it couldn't lay claim to the same international appeal. The most listenable track here is the languorous "Good Day," an unhurried pop groove inspired by Davies 'attempts to come to terms with the end of his relationship with Chrissie Hynde. It also references glamorous British post-war pin-up Diana Dors, who died during the song's composition: "News of the world, tea and biscuits in bed/ The headlines said that Diana is dead," sings Davies, "so today has got to be a good day."

The end of an era.

For all its highs, the album has the feel of a band working apart. "Going Solo," "Missing Persons" and "Sold Me Out" were lifted from the Ray Davies TV movie Return to Waterloo, recorded by the Kinks minus brother Dave, who was allowed two of his own songs on this collection. The biggest surprise is that Dave's slow rocker "Living on a Thin Line" rates as one of the most powerful tracks, touching as it does on lyrical subjects (looking for a lost England) more traditionally associated with his brother. It was also the last album for long-suffering Kinks drummer Mick Avory. A mediator between the warring Davies brothers since the band's earliest days, he played on just three tracks and his departure marked the end of an era for the band.