Face To Face (studio album) by The Kinks
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The Kinks bestography
The best album by The Kinks is The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society which is ranked number 162 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 11,183.
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Face To Face track list
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Face To Face ratings
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This album is rated in the top 2% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 80.7/100, a mean average of 79.9/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 80.9/100. The standard deviation for this album is 12.6.
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One of the best albums of all time, the quality of the songs is just sublime... so far ahead of most 1966 albums. The Kinks actually had something to say here unlike 99% of their peers. Middle class life in England and the gap between rich and poor (A House In The Country, Sunny Afternoon), running away from home (Rosie Wont You Please Come Home), the opener song from this album deals with anonymity (Party Line) which is well ahead of its time. Look at where we are now, nobody knows you on the internet, just like the lyrics of Party Line predicted. "Is she big, is she small, is she a she at all" (preceding Lola, their biggest hit, a song about a transexual). The two songs Dandy and Fancy are about polygamy (Fancy: the music playing being an imitation of indian music - a novelty at the time, music and lyrics are from connected from that stand point, Dandy is a music hall style song of 2 minutes about Dave Davies and "that 2 girls are too many, 3 is a crowd and 4 you're dead"). The songs are connected through a certain theme, that being society in England and how it actually is, instead of what Ray Davies projects a fantasy of England (see: Village Green Preservation Society). Holiday In Waikiki is about winning a ticket to Hawaii, thus temporarily escaping the mundane middle class life and enjoying one self), Most Exclusive Residence For Sale is about the same guy who had a "House In The Country" who now loses his private property and has to pay off a mortgage (big problem in the 50s and 60s and after for that social class, the protagonist now being part of the middle class)
You don't have to read so much into the lyrics as all of this is really obvious.
Too Much On My Mind is about a mental breakdown that Ray Davies had earlier in 1966 (kind of reminds me of the many personal songs he wrote around that time, see: Two Sisters from another great album, Something Else).
I'll Remember and You're Looking Fine don't really fit in all that much like the 12 masterpieces on this album but they are alright, just average rock songs from 1966, nothing special, not too bad either, I certainly prefer them to a lot of songs featured in the album before this.
Rainy Day In June is a very atmospheric, unqiue song, using sound effects in a way not many other rock / pop bands did before (The Beatles and the Beach Boys did use sound effects too, the Kinks used them for multiple songs on the same album: Party Line, Holiday In Waikiki, Rainy Day In June. They also used effects for a single like the Beatles and Beach Boys did, Yellow Submarine, Caroline No, that Kinks single being Big Black Smoke)
All in all, I think Face To Face deserves to be so highly rated, being around the 890s in the overall ranking. Personally, I think it should be at least in the top 3 of 1966, but 8th place in 1966 isn't that bad. Evidently, more than enough people know about it, the instrumentation might be the reason why it's not as highly ranked in the Kinks discography like Arthur, Lola vs Powerman or even Something Else. All these albums have in common that the instrument playing is more enjoyable to the average listener and while Face To Face has good riffs and great basslines, the band who made it added more instruments for the following four albums and made the songs a bit deeper (not in a lyrical sense). In a way, Face To Face was the last garage rock album but at the same time the first operetta type concept album the Kinks did.
Best tracks: Too Much on My Mind, Most Exclusive Residence for Sale, Fancy, Sunny Afternoon
Worst tracks: Party Line, Session Man, You're Lookin' Fine
More advanced musicianship and intricate song writing compared to their earlier, garage rock style albums. There are still great guitar riffs throughout the album, but they are couched in more lush compositions that would foreshadow the grandoise concept albums they'd put out in the late 60s and 70s with varying degrees of success. I'm of the belief that The Kinks singles collections often surpass their albums (which is not my normal style), but this is the one I'd grab if you told me to pick one Kinks album for my collection.
Another big improvement over the last album, just like Kontroversy was over the ones before it.
Sunny Afternoon and Rosy Won't You Please Come Home are exceptional songs by any standard.
Their first great album
Face to Face is a nice collection of songs about non-traditional subjects. It builds on ideas made popular by The Beatles like using Indian-influenced sounds and singing about mundanity though it seems like The Kinks were oppositely concerned with taxes before the Fab Four. The album serves as a masterclass in songwriting. It effortlessly switches from song to song and subject to subject without losing much quality in lyrics. There are some tracks that aren't as good as the others. "Session Man" and "House In The Country" push the ordinary too far for me and I can't help but be bored listening to them. "Too Much On My Mind" and "Sunny Afternoon", on the other hand, are both great showcases of their ability. I also enjoyed "Fancy" and "I'll Remember" mostly for their sound more than their lyrical content.
1966 resumido em um álbum!
In this album The Kinks goes in a new direction in their sound, not so guitar-based, and more introspective Ray Davies's lyrics.
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