Ray Davies’s ‘Americana’ a Nostalgic Ode to American Culture

The Kinks’ Leader Delves into Country and Bluegrass on New Solo Album

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The Kinks’ leader returns with his fourth solo studio album, a nostalgic ode to American culture from an aging British baby boomer’s perspective, ably backed by alt-country band The Jayhawks. The record might appear counter-intuitive, what with Sir Ray Davies’s standing as the greatest living lyricist of his generation to snarkily chronicle the British working-class experience while generating some of the finest rock songs ever created. Yet looking back to The Kinks’ classic 1971 disc Muswell Hillbillies, Davies’s affinity for country and bluegrass music is abundantly evident. Americana’s title track, “Poetry,” “Rock ’n’ Roll Cowboys,” The Great Highway,” and “The Invaders” are all top tunes, but it’s hard not to hold onto hope that The Kinks will reform to make one last great album.

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