28 February 2006

ray davies - "over my head" (from the other people's lives lp, available for purchase here.)

in brief : girl troubles, it seems, make for great records whatever the age of the singer/songwriter.

"over my head" comes from ray davies's solo debut--which was released this year, in case your were expecting the night to be given over the back catalog fare. it is shockingly vital; the only sign of aging, apart from the use of a wah-wah pedal, is in ray's voice, which sounds bafflingly like john cale's for the first verse or so. give him until the second verse, though, and you'll hear that familiar old instrument, clipped and charmed as ever.

other davies trademarks soon appear as well, even as "over my head" sounds nothing like any kinks song i can recall. it's clever, naturally : for a song called "over my head," it has both a significant deep-end, a bassline one might hesitatingly call "funky" and guitar lines that scrape the ground. it also holds concealed depths : hidden beneath a string of platitudes that makes up the first chorus--"one day a time," "step by step," &c.--is deep-rooted anger, perhaps too a touch of disappointment, that davies expresses through clenched teeth (and, so, trademark british restraint, stiff upper-lip and all that).

returning from the depths to the surface, "over my head" is exceptionally catchy, choruses and hooks hitting their targets directly. a seething, crashing pre-chorus makes way for a chorus that's light as air, but substantial all the same. it's also an incredibly well-paced six minutes, never peaking too soon, carrying the listener's interest until the end. indeed, it's executed so well that, by the end, even the wah-wah seems a good idea. in other words, it's vintage davies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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