Planned as the soundtrack to a television play that never came to pass, Arthur is a tale of broken promises and unfulfilled dreams, seen through the eyes of a middle-aged man who feels betrayed by the country he once loved. It sounds impenetrable, but Ray Davies uses universal themes and catchy melodies to make this material resonate with anyone who has a heart. There are no wasted notes, and no throwaway lyrics: everything is very economical and carefully crafted for maximum effect. The lyrics are intelligent without ever being ponderous or pretentious, and even though it's a "concept album" every single track stands on its own merit as well.
"Yes Sir, No Sir", a damning indictment of war and the British class system, is one of the finest songs the head Kink ever penned, featuring some of his most barbed lyrics: "Let them feel that they're important to the cause/ but let them know that they are fighting for their homes / just be sure that they're contributing their own. / Give the scum a gun and make the bugger fight / and be sure to have deserters shot on sight / If he dies, we'll send a medal to his wife."
That song is immediately followed up by the one-two punch of "Some Mother's Son", probably the most touching anti-war song in rock history, which features a gorgeous middle eight section and some of Ray Davies' most accomplished chord changes to date. Elsewhere, muted desperation gives way to 60's-soaked rock freak-outs like "Brainwashed" and "Australia". And that's just the A side!Read more ›
you can hear that they're streching themselves a bit in terms of the instrumentals, but that doesn't detract from the music at all. this is w/o a doubt the height of the Kinks powers.
Great songs. Great playing. Great lyrics. Interesting story. Good production. Plenty of bonus-tracks. Read more