Album Reviews

Dave Davies & Russ Davies

Open Road

Artist:     Dave Davies & Russ Davies

Album:     Open Road

Label:     Green Amp Records

Release Date:     03.31.2017

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Dave Davies—he of riff heavy wattage and former guitar anchoring for the Kinks—once again keeps things all in the family, not by partnering with brother Ray, but rather by bringing his musician son Russ into his mix. While matters continue to simmer between the Brothers Davies, Dave has never showed any signs of slowing down, not only in his works with the band, but also with a steady stream of solo records that have kept him active for the past 50 years.

In some ways Open Road varies from the norm, given the fact that his son Russ has a handle on modern music with a decided electronic pulse. Consequently, some of these songs expand the elder Davies’ usual musical parameter, adding a faint hint of rap to the title track, blending some harsher atmospherics into “King of Diamonds” and emphasizing the emphatic pacing on “Sleep On It” and “Slow Down.” Still, for all those so-called modern touches, Dave’s trademark tone— his wistful musings, if you will—are still in ample evidence, whether it’s through the reflection and remorse that comes to bear on “Forgiveness,” or simply the quiet acoustic tones imbued in “Love Has Rules Of Its Own,” a track that brings to mind his better Kinks Kontributions. 

That said, Open Road may not be the album that longtime Kinks fans might hoped for, that being a return to classic songs along the lines of “Death of a Clown,” “Susannah’s Still Alive” and “Autumn Almanac,” instilled with an English dialect to boot. Still, it occasionally comes close, and for lovers of the archival Kinks, that’s a blessing all on its own.

—Lee Zimmerman

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