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Ray Davies – Our Country: Americana Act 2 (2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Ray Davies – Our Country: Americana Act 2 (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:01:04 minutes | 1,29 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

The continuing story of The Kinks co-founder’s journeys through America, as depicted in his 2013 memoir Americana and 2017’s album of the same name, ‘Our Country: Americana Act II’ is a concept album borne from Davies’ vision of America – how it shaped him and evolved through the years. Like its predecessor, the album was recorded at the legendary Konk Studios in London with guitarist Bill Shanley and The Jayhawks once again serving as Davies’ backing band.

Sequels are not Ray Davies’ forte. Back in the 1970s, when he was in the thick of his theatrical aspirations, he expanded upon The Village Green Preservation Society with the muddled rock opera Preservation, whose downfall was a labored second act. Americana, the song cycle adaptation of Davies’ memoir of the same name, suffers the same pitfalls as its Preservation predecessor, with the singer/songwriter larding up Our Country with recitations, characters, allusions, and repetitions. All this extra stuff means Our Country plays very differently than its 2017 cousin Americana, even though it contains the same supporting cast — namely, the Jayhawks as a supporting band and Guy Massey and John Jackson as co-producers. Davies retains a casual chemistry with the Jayhawks, who help give this lengthy collection a handsome sheen. They move with a lazy, loping gait and can also crank up the energy when needed, as they do with the closing “Muswell Kills,” one of several explicit callbacks to the Kinks’ 1971 classic Muswell Hillbillies (the record’s “Oklahoma USA” is also revived). So, Our Country: Americana, Act 2 carries an attractive, burnished sound, which is what makes Davies’ lengthy digressions all the more maddening. Shoehorning text and theme from his book into the songs, the record frequently stumbles upon its own literary ambitions, along with clunky songs written in character. Davies still possesses a sharp eye and sly sense of humor, so Our Country has its moments, but they’re moments, not songs, and they’re overwhelmed by his clumsy dramatic pretensions, which are undone by his reluctance to tie his theatricality into an actual narrative. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01. Our Country
02. The Invaders
03. Back In the Day
04. Oklahoma USA
05. Bringing Up Baby
06. The Getaway
07. The Take
08. We Will Get There
09. The Real World
10. A Street Called Hope
11. The Empty Room
12. Calling Home
13. Louisiana Sky
14. March of the Zombies
15. The Big Weird
16. Tony and Bob
17. The Big Guy
18. Epilogue
19. Muswell Kills


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