Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Kinks - Word of Mouth

Tomorrow (November 19th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Word of Mouth, the twentieth studio album from the Kinks. The record spent twenty weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 57.

Side one begins with “Do It Again”. As the second single, it hit number 91 in Canada, number 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 4 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. I have always been a fan of this song; the lyrics have a bit of a trippy déjà vu element to them. The 2002 ABC drama That Was Then used this song every time 30-year old door-to-door salesman Travis Glass bounced back in time to his high school years in 1988 where he tries to correct the things he did wrong; the short-lived show only recorded four episodes of which only two of which aired. Yes, I watched the show and was bummed when it got cancelled. It was a creative concept.

The title track “Word of Mouth” is next. This one taps into the band’s roots in 60’s rock; it has that throw back sound to it.

The album’s first single was “Good Day”, released only in Europe. This folk-rock tune tries to find the silver lining in a world full of dark and gray news.

“Living on a Thin Line” was released as a promo single in the US; it charted at number 24 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. The rhythm of this one is slower, tight and methodical; it’ll chip its way into your sub consciousness.

The B-side to the promo single was quick-tempo “Sold Me Out”.

Side two opens with “Massive Reductions”, a song about layoffs and unemployment.

The B-side to the second single was “Guilty”, a thumping tune that comments on the justice system and how some people are judged by appearance and not actions.

Next up is “Too Hot”, the B-side to the first single. I like how this one features a bit of a Calypso sound to the chorus hook.

Things slow down slight with “Missing Persons”, a somber tale of love-lost.

“Summer’s Gone” was released as the third single in the US. The lyrics flashback to a time of childhood and family trips in the car.

The B-side to the third single and the album’s closer is “Going Solo”. Again, we get a Calypso element to the backing music.

For me, Word of Mouth has a couple standout tracks and the rest is just average filler. However, average from the Kinks was still enjoyable. These guys knew how to rock and even in the mid-80’s were still putting it out there.

For more from the Kinks, click here.

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