Music Review: Davies’ friends can’t help ’Friends’
Ray Davies, “See My Friends” (Decca)
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Unfortunately for former Kinks frontman Ray Davies, his friends can’t save “See My Friends.”
Perhaps hoping to catch the wave of others who found success late in their careers with similar type projects, Davies enlists some A-list talent, from Bruce Springsteen to Metallica, to reinvent some of the Kinks’ most obscure and popular songs including “Lola” and “You Really Got Me.”
The results range from above average — like Mumford & Sons on “Days/This Time Tomorrow” — to nearly unlistenable — Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on “Celluloid Heroes.” But mostly they’re just somewhere in the uninspired middle.
For any such collaboration to succeed, either those who guest star have to reinvent the well-known classic songs to make them their own or they have to succumb to the power of the original and stay true to it within their own voice.
Too often on “See My Friends” neither happens.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: “’Til the End of the Day” features former Big Star lead singer Alex Chilton in one of his last recordings before his death in 2010. Davies recorded it with him in 2009 before he became sick, making it all the more poignant.