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Give the People What They Want
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  • 1981 found The Kinks riding high. The band was a popular concert attraction and the bulk of their work from this period was perfectly suited to the broader gestures required in arenas. Ray Davies, never a man to shy away from irony, offers an album title that sounds like a directive. But the album's first song, "Around The Dial" stares squarely into the perceived dearth of meaningful fare on the contemporary airwaves.
  • The album closes with one of their strongest, most evocative songs in years. "Better Things," while sounding of a piece with the rest of the album, also harks back to their Village Green era. Full of celebration, the chorus ("I hope tomorrow you'll find better things") is a perfect mix of melancholy and hope--a classic Kinks combination. Davies produced the album to blend smoothly with the era's sonic priorities and values--the drum sound is clearly a product of its times--but the rich identity of this band is clearer and stronger than ever.
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