RAY DAVIES
The Kinks Choral Collection
(Decca)

 

There was always something ultimately harmonious about the music of Ray Davies and The Kinks. Although Ray and his brother Dave haven’t recorded together as The Kinks at all this decade as the Kinks, Ray has proven to be force as a solo artist, most recently with the early 2006 release of Other People’s Lives, which was followed in 2007 with Workingman’s Cafe. Having performed in 2008 with a choir, Ray follows up with the 2009 CD release of The Kinks Choral Collection, featuring Ray backed up a full band—including guitarists Bill Shanley and Milton McDonald—with the ever present choir consisting of The Crouch End Festival Chorus. Hearing the choir's beautiful, angelic voices swirling in and out of Ray’s vocals and songs is a tad ironic considering this guy was a historical musical architect, one of the greats over in post-war England whono doubt spurred on by the likes of The Beatles and The Dave Clark 5helped put the rock into rock and roll back starting around 1964. Carried forth on a heavenly musical cloud of hymnal voices, Ray summons up a bevy of Kinks Klassics to resurrect one more time, perhaps the last? Let’s hope not, but as a follow up to his last two excellent rock based studio sets and at least one EP, The Kinks Choral Collection gently rocks the classics with a near religious retro rock experience. Funny thing is, much of this works and while often misty-eyed, is not morose at all. A must hear for Kinks Kompletists, the CD's release on the NYC jazzy, classical, avant rock based historic Decca Records supplies a most interesting addition to the label’s roster. Favorite cut here? It's to be Ray and the chorus on the “Village Green Medley,” including a celestial “Big Sky” from 1967’s Village Green Preservation Society. The CD booklet offers excellent artwork, pics of Ray with the grand chorus and complete lyrics. www.DeccaRecords-US.com / www.RayDavies.info

 

 
   
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