What can be said about The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society other than that The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society might just be one of the greatest records ever made? The images, the rolling instrumentals, the understatement, Ray Davies sings about a time that’s lost to him and one that you can never know. Yet somehow, you’ve lost it too.
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is character sketches, Donald duck and strawberry jam. It’s not so much about preservation as the feeling that it’s somehow needed. And when the music plays you can feel it.
As inevitably time passes it can also stand still. In fantasies collective and private. But these too fade. No more is something permeant than in a sound recording.
The Davies could sing what was on their mind. Transmit it. There’s emotion that makes this music close to timeless (though an updated mastering, lyrical depth and great melodies help too).
Ray sung what was in his head. It was mediated through words and melody but there’s a meaning there most artists can’t even begin to get to. A bold claim but it’s truth. At least to the untold thousands who’ve found there home here.
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society flopped but somehow became The Kinks’ largest selling studio album. The band might have slipped into something between total disintegration and an entity past its prime, but this music continues to lead a life of its own. It’s come more and more unstuck in time, meaning and all things else.
The Kinks really got you going but then they took you some far off else. And of all those places and spaces and downright odd states of affair they diverted into this, one you can feel right at home. The past continues to be lost, the old ways are always crumbling to the modernity’s hungry cause, cities continue to sprawl, folklore fades and nostalgia remains soupy in its sentimentality.
Time has changed
Time will heal
Time will mend and conceal
And for as long as that’s the case the sickly-sweet feeling of inevitability and resignation which comes gives this album to all eternity.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
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