"Wandering through all the memories. Of the good times that we had"

- My Bloody Valentine

Other People's Lives (album) by Ray Davies

This album At A Glance
Other People's Lives
Other People's Lives by Ray Davies (2006)
Release date: 2006-02-07
Overall rank: 27,296th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
75/100 (from 8 votes)
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Accolades: Award Top albums of 2006 (748th)
Award Top albums of the 2000s (6,898th)
Award Best albums of all time (27,296th)

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The Kinks/Ray Davies/Other People's Lives CD
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Ray Davies bestography

Other People's Lives is ranked 4th best out of 7 albums by Ray Davies on BestEverAlbums.com.

The best album by Ray Davies is Americana which is ranked number 21619 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 53.

Ray Davies album bestography « Higher ranked (25,279th) This album (27,296th) Lower ranked (35,979th) »
Working Man's CaféOther People's LivesSee My Friends

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dihansse skelter54 Rovers RFNAPLES

Other People's Lives ratings

Average Rating: 
75/100 (from 8 votes)
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From Rovers
Ray Davies first solo-album had been awaited for couple for some years before it finally was released in February 2006. Among the reason for its delay was the assault on Ray in New Orleans in 2005. Actually two albums have been released previously in Davies' name; the sound-track "Return to Waterloo" ( 1986 ) and his "Storyteller" ( partly live ) show from 1998.

But this is his first "real" solo album, and one of the big questions was if he could live up to the high standards of the many classic Kinks albums released during the last 40 years, without brother Dave's great guitar playing. The short answer to that question is, "Yes!".

On a some tracks a little Dave guitar would have been welcome; and also his characteristic high harmony vocals. But few only Kinks albums have such overall consistent songwriting as this new album. And Ray voice is apparently as strong as ever; I had the opportunity to see him perform here in Denmark last year, and it was a great show with Ray in top-form on all levels; in spite of having just recently recovered from complications concerning his New Orleans assault.

Two songs have already been released as singles in 2005 and they're both outstanding. "The Tourist" is a fine melodic song that has a quite heavy guitar break. "Thanksgiving Day" is "only" included as a hidden track, which is really quite strange, since it may very well be the strongest track of them all - the song shows that Ray's vocals and his songwriting are as good as ever.

The album starts off very effectively with the musically very strong track "The Morning After" - very much Kinks sounding ( Think Visual ). Just as great is "After the Fall" - it's almost like you can hear Dave's voice in the "uuh" choir. Could have been a "Phobia" song. "Next Door Neighbour" is more like a solo-track. Fine 40's style brass accompaniment by the Mike Cotton Sound - a little like "Quiet Life".

"All She Wrote" is new Kinks like energy. Great catchy chorus - a sure live-favourite. One of the very best tracks here. The bluesy "Creatures of Little Faith" is more average ( in Davies standards ). "Run Away From Time" brings back memories from the early 1980's; sounding a lot like a track from the "State of Confusion" sessions.

"Is There Life After Breakfast" brings memories even further back. Both musically and lyrically this could have been a "Muswell Hillbillies" song; with nice slide guitar-playing. "The Getaway" may be a little diffuse, melodically, but it has a beautifully catchy guitar line - played by Ray himself. The title-track is a catchy light melody - with fine additional female vocals.

"The Stand Up Comedian" is a humorous rap-blues thing. The long, almost final ( don't forget "Thanksgiving Day" ) song "Over My Head" is another Kinks sounding track.

Davies has used a lot of different musicians on this which has been recorded over a period of about two years. Guitarist Steve Bolton plays on most tracks and he adds a lot of power to the album. Drummers Dylan Howe and Toby Baron together with bassist Dick Nolan are among other important backing musicians.

The first couple of times I listened to the album I had the feeling that the strongest material had been placed in the first half; but with "The Tourist", "Other People's Lives" and "Thanksgiving Day" this obviously cannot be the case. A highly recommendable album - and as extra bonus there is ( as always ) a lot of wit and humour in Davies' lyrics.
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From Decurso
Same great songwriting that we saw from The Kinks, although the style is much more simple and folksy. The title track, Creatures of Little Faith and Neighbour are the best songs.
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