Ray(mond Douglas) Davies Ken Emerson - Essay

Ken Emerson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

After twenty-odd albums, either you follow the Kinks or you don't. If you don't ("Gently pity those you can't persuade," as Jonathan Swift put it), it's unlikely you'll acquire the habit with Misfits, especially since none of the songs sounds like an immediate hit single. But if you do, this LP can make you cry. Not because Misfits is a bad record—on the contrary, it's the Kinks' best since, at the very least, 1974's underrated Preservation Act 2. No, what makes it heart-rending is its candor bordering on cruelty. And both the victim and the victor are Ray Davies.

It's as if the voice that has probably whispered for years inside Ray Davies' head, murmuring, "Come out, come out,...

(The entire section is 877 words.)