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Jul 2013 Crafted music

CD review

Dave Davies: I Will Be Me

Cleopatra Records Inc.

THE long-awaited new solo album from Kink’s lead guitarist Dave Davies has him stretching his compositional muscles to create some finely crafted music.

 

Dave’s last studio album was six years ago with Fractured Mindz, but with this new collection of songs we see – and hear – him return to his more natural sound. His crunching guitar work is always top notch and this outing has him in a similar guitar-playing mode to his sixties days when he was an ‘angry young man’.

 

You can’t really call him ‘young’ any more as he’s 67, but definitely angry as the lyrics to some of his songs will testify. His songwriting and lyrics has come on in leaps and bounds and is these days on a par with his older brother Ray.

 

As well as his guitar playing, the voice is in fine fettle – some of the words may be a little indistinct after his stroke, but he can still hit those famous high notes.

 

The first track – Little Green Amp –  is a little autobiographical (it was a little green amp that he sliced to produce the unique guitar sound for You Really Got Me) and the lyrics hearken back to some of the songs back then like ‘Summertime’ and ‘Splish Splash’.

 

There are also some familiar riffs with a couple of Kinks’ riffs in the mix. Dave’s snarling guitar is reminiscent to the sound of The Kinks’ Low Budget on Living in the Past.

 

Lyrically, he is looking at our obsession with all things retro, but he ends with the defining line: “No matter what they do or say, the future’s here to stay.”

 

He misses London and on Midnight in LA, his visions of that city are brought startlingly to life in his lyrics. The rest of the album is in much similar vein; he has things to get off his chest and does do in no uncertain terms.

 

In The Mainframe has him analysing our gadget driven world, yet he still has a sensitive side as evidenced in Healing Boy.

 

He has addressed personal and universal themes in these songs and we come out the other side a bit more optimistic.

 

Dave has also had a little help on the record, with contributions from The Jayhawks, The Bloody Hollies and top session guitarist Chris Spedding.

 

The younger Davies brother once said that Rock music was a positive force for good.  Here’s the proof.

 

Martin Hutchinson

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