Speaking as one who considers Ray Davies a genius I must confess this is the single worst and most depressing listening experience ever produced in the Kinks' name - tho, to be honest, I stopped listening to their albums at all after this debacle (can you blame me?).
Musically this is so turgid and utterly anonymous it could be any ... 70s band, so little of the Kinks' and Ray Davies' distinctive character survives the shoe-horning of these supremely ordinary songs into the overarching concept. Interestingly, the two best songs here: "Oh Where Oh Where Is Love?" and the ironic "Salvation Road" were actually recorded for the infintely better "Preservation Act 1" album - it figures. The only other tracks here to rise above the general morass are the jazzy ballad, "Nothing Lasts Forever" (with curiously out-of-tune American vocals by Marianne Price) and the two rockers, "Money Talks" (still boring by Kinks' standards) and "He's Evil". "Nobody Gives" sounds like an attempt to produce a state-of-the-world epic to rival "20th Century Man" from "Muswell Hillbillies" - but whereas the latter was eloquent and heartfelt, the former is merely verbose and pretentious. "Shepherds of the Nation" at least allows a little of Davies' wit to shine through - the track's still rubbish though.
Which leaves us with the actual CONCEPT of "Preservation" and here, it must be admitted, Davies has produced something which is more coherent than either "Tommy" or "The Wall": less pretentious than both; less woolly minded than "Tommy" and less self-pitying than "The Wall". The trouble is there is no music to go with it.