Ray Davies unpicks his entanglement with the US on Americana
Ray Davies’s 2013 memoir was not just a recollection of his life experiences but also the catalyst for his first album since 2007, which, like the book, is called Americana. Now 72, the Kinks man uses the collection of songs to reflect on the entanglement of the United States in his life; several spoken-word passages from the book punctuate the album (on which Davies has enlisted The Jayhawks as his backing band). Alt-country songs like A Long Drive Home to Tarzana and A Place in Your Heart suit Davies’s voice, while the title track is flush with twangy guitars and full-bodied harmonies. Elsewhere, Poetry injects a 1970s new-wave snarl, while the heavier growl of The Mystery Room unleashes his latent rock god. Attention begins to waver towards the album’s end, but there are songs here that suggest Davies still has plenty to offer.