Even though the album was weighed down by its adherence to late-'80s state of the art studio techniques, UK Jive was a noticeable improvement over the lackluster Think Visual. Featuring only a handful of hard rockers -- including the excellent, snarling "Aggravation" -- the album was comprised of pop songs that painted an unfocused portrait of modern British life. Although many of Ray Davies' finest songs were based on a similar concept, his songwriting on UK Jive was frustratingly inconsistent, ranging from the infectious bop of the title track to the ham-fisted anthem "Down All Days (To 1992)." With the loping "Looney Balloon," Davies wrote one of his finest songs of the '80s, but the only track that equaled its conviction was his brother Dave's spiteful protest, "Dear Margaret."
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine