Thursday, February 14, 2008

I wish I was a part of a Village Green Preservation Society.

I recently watched Hot Fuzz again, because every time I watch that movie I find something new to love about it. This time it was the soundtrack that sparked my interest, specifically the letter-perfect inclusion of tracks from the Kinks album "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society". Such an ideal choice for what is almost a perfect movie. And that got me back into the album, one of those almost-forgotten classics of the 60s. But not forgotten yet! I have searched and searched in the past for a copy of this brilliant album on vinyl, but I have yet to turn one up. So in my zeal for listening to more of it, I placed an order for the CD, but then I couldn't wait to hear it and I downloaded it for playing in my car. And now I can't get enough. This is one of the truly great British invasion records of the 60s, up there with Exile on Main Street and The Who Sings My Generation. It's basically a concept album that laments the passing away of old English traditions, but at the same time, much like Hot Fuzz, it manages to be a self-parody, which is humourous without being insulting.

There is such a warm tone to the album, and such a fondness for the subject material, that one can't help but think this is not so much a Kinks album as it is a Ray Davies solo project on which the Kinks just happened to play. It is such a powerfully British album that one can't help but feel nostalgic for Britain when listening, even if, like myself, one has never been to Britain. There is no weak track, and as a concept album, the tracks are not meant to be heard individually, really. But there are five or six that stand out on their own. The first three are as good as any singles the Kinks ever released - The Village Green Preservation Society, Do You Remember Water, and Picture Book. Also well worth it as solo songs are Johnny Thunder, Animal Farm, Village Green and People Take Pictures Of Each Other. Now, those of you familiar with The Kinks through songs like You Really Got Me and Lola, be warned: The Village Green Preservation Society, with the exception of Wicked Annabella, does not rock. This is not a hard-rocking album. Just an ass-kicking album. Go get it, you will not be displeased.

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