Dave Davies

Rippin' Up Time

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Like its immediate predecessor I Will Be Me, Rippin' Up Time strikes a balance between the past and present, the delicate and the heavy, the spiritual and the physical. Appropriately for a record that lives teetering on the edge, Rippin' Up Time also evokes musical memories of Dave Davies' heyday with the Kinks in the '60s -- quite deliberately so on "Front Room," which romanticizes his earliest days -- but often it most recalls the arena rock records Dave made in the early '80s, just when the Kinks planted a firm foothold in America and when he started to carve out his own identity separate from the band. Davies seems to have made the record somewhat on the cheap -- the rhythms feel stiffly electronic, the guitar distortion comes from a box -- and his voice is gravelly, giving this an odd distinction of feeling ragged but composed; it's a homemade digital album. If the songs aren't necessarily grabbers, it's hard to deny how personal Rippin' Up Time feels, like a strong reflection of Davies' idiosyncratic soul. For better or worse, he's putting it all out there: his fallibilities, his strange obsessions, his fascination with the past and the future.

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