This Is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies & The Kinks
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Top Customer Reviews
When I discovered this compilation, the name tipped me off that it would be good. If Ryko had called it "All Day and All of the Night," for example, or "You Really Got Me," it would have conjured up images of Van Halen or some other inane, dated hard-rock group grinding out yet another cover of the earliest stuff. "This is Where I Belong" is not only a great song from the classic mid-period years but it is also an obscurity. Somebody knew what they were doing over at Ryko, so I had to invest the $14 it cost at the time to find out whether it was any good.
And it was. These artists show exactly why Ray's music is so special...it is completely timeless. The glory of "Big Sky," my favorite Kinks song, is captured magnificently here by Matthew Sweet. Jonathan Richman shows us exactly why "Stop Your Sobbing" hasn't lost any of its charm- its simplicity allows the message- one of coping with sorrow of any kind- to come through clearly. Fountains of Wayne take another obscurity, "Better Things," and maintain its feel as a powerpop gem while making sound like it was written yesterday. None of the wit or wisdom is lost in any of these translations.Read more ›
A few tracks do adhere a little too closely to the originals; Fastball and Cracker just don't sound like themselves on "'Til the End of the Day" and "Victoria," respectively. (As much as I love the originals, I just wish these guys could've brought something new to the table.) On the other hand, you'll either love or hate the radical changes made by singer-songwriters Josh Rouse ("A Well Respected Man") and Jonathan Richman ("Stop Your Sobbing"); personally, I think they improve greatly on the originals. With a few lyrical adjustments and a complete overhaul of the arrangement, Rouse turns the twee, silly "Well Respected Man" into a sober character study.Read more ›
Some tracks are very true to the original whereas others are treated in new and different ways - in some cases in very exciting ways.
The opening track "Better Days" from "Give the People What They Want" is a great song, but it always sounded a little rough and demo-like to my ears. Very interesting to learn from Davies own well-written liner-notes that it really was only demo that was included on the album. A great opener here given a power-pop treatment by Fountains of Wayne.
Steve Forbert's version of "Starstruck" from Village Green P.S. is just as great. Musically more polished than the opener, but Forbert's raw vocals give this fine song a new edge.
"Stop Your Sobbing" is given an acoustic treatment by Jonathan Richman. Very nice, which is also Bebel Gilberto's version of "No Return", which is probably the only bossa-nova song Davies ever wrote. Ray reveals that the song was written with Bebel's mother Astrud ( the girl from Ipanema ) in mind.
"A Well Respected Man" originally was a raw half-acoustic recording. This new version by Josh Rouse has been given a completely different more polished feel - the satire may not be quite as obvious as on the original but great to hear the song interpreted so differently.
"Victoria" is probably too true to the original "Arthur" version to make it really interesting.
"Who'll Be the Next in Line" is good but no more.
Another stand-out is the overlooked gem "Big Sky" from Village G.P.S.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here is a word I don't use often...delightful. Ray's work interpeted by a wide range of artists - some I've never heard before, and done exceptionally well.Published 18 months ago by Thomas A. Hock
When I first heard this song better things I loved it. I heard it in the Manchurian candidate movie. all the other songs are kinks hits too. Read morePublished on March 8, 2014 by kagirl
Tribute albums have become a bit of a nuisance lately. If one is a big fan of the artist who is the subject of the album, one feels compelled to listen to at least a few of the... Read morePublished on December 5, 2009 by McLizzy
If you are a true fan of the music and talent of Ray Davies and the Kinks, then this CD is not for you. It was hugely dissappointing. Read morePublished on January 8, 2008 by Karen Mileham
As Ray Davies notes in his self-penned liner notes, "tribute albums are usually conceived after the composer has 'passed. Read morePublished on April 13, 2007 by Steve Vrana
I keep going back to this CD, again and again. A must-have for anyone who appreciates Ray Davies. A couple of duds (Josh Rouse, Jonathan Richman) are overwhelmed by awesome covers. Read morePublished on October 2, 2004 by Ricardo Irons
AWESOME CD....I NEVER TIRE OF IT....
ARRANGEMENTS PUT TOGETHER WITH A NEW TWIST SO AS TO TRUELY
APPRECIATE THE WORKS OF THESE TALENTED BROTHERS. Read more
The first song I heard off the cd was the Steve Forbert's "Starstruck" which I think he did a good job with. Read morePublished on August 16, 2002