Working Man's Cafe [US Bonus Tracks]

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Ray Davies's third solo album sees American release after debuting in Europe back in October of 2007. But fans shouldn't fret: The New West release features three bonus tracks. The album see-saws through Davies's classic Kinks poses, from the bitter outsider to the biting satirist to the intimate balladeer.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ray Davies took his time crafting his first full-fledged solo album Other People's Lives, delivering it in 2006 -- a full 13 years after his last collection of original material, the Kinks' final album Phobia. Such a long gestation period seemed justified, as the album was an exquisitely written set of ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Ray Davies's third solo album sees American release after debuting in Europe back in October of 2007. But fans shouldn't fret: The New West release features three bonus tracks. The album see-saws through Davies's classic Kinks poses, from the bitter outsider to the biting satirist to the intimate balladeer.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ray Davies took his time crafting his first full-fledged solo album Other People's Lives, delivering it in 2006 -- a full 13 years after his last collection of original material, the Kinks' final album Phobia. Such a long gestation period seemed justified, as the album was an exquisitely written set of short stories that benefited from such exacting attention to detail, yet the length of time between Phobia and Other People's Lives also suggested that Davies would not be returning with his second solo album anytime soon. As it turns out, that wasn't the case: Davies hammered out his second album, Working Man's Café, with a speed recalling the '60s and '70s, when new Kinks albums arrived every year. Appropriately for its quick turn-around, Working Man's Café is a looser, edgier record than its predecessor -- there's polish, but the guitars and rhythms jump, there's a vitality to the performances and the songs themselves bristle with contemporary headlines, bearing references to the vanishing middle class, internet isolation, and New Orleans, the site of both Hurricane Katrina and where Davies was shot and hospitalized after defending a female friend from a mugger. Ever the contrarian, Davies doesn't dwell on his own troubles, they're weaved into part of a tapestry of vignettes of a world gone awry -- a common theme in his work perhaps (this is someone who pined for the village green in the midst of the psychedelic revolution), but such ornery nostalgia has fueled much of Davies best work, as it does here. Far from being an angry, impassioned screed against a world gone wrong (turn to Neil Young's Living with War for that), Davies writes with his signature wry, cynical eye, balancing his weary resignation with a sly wit. The songs have more bite than those on Other People's Lives, as do the performances, which makes Working Man's Café more immediate than its predecessor, yet it benefits from repeated plays as well, as those subsequent spins reveal that these 12 songs are as finally honed as those on Other People's Lives. And having these two albums arrive so quickly is proof that Ray Davies is back as a working songwriter, which is something to be celebrated. [The CD was also released with three bonus tracks.]
Rolling Stone
Café offers glimpses of classic Davies: His talent for character sketches...[and] loose melodies amid nimble bar-band grooves.
Harp Magazine
It isn’t quite the old Ray Davies that turns up on what is technically his second solo album—following the first by only a year—but it’s a more familiar one. Where Other People’s Lives was polished and cautious, Working Man’s Café is sharper and more direct, reaching back to Davies’ most biting social commentary and the pointed wit of prime Kinks days.

Café offers glimpses of classic Davies: His talent for character sketches...[and] loose melodies amid nimble bar-band grooves.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/19/2008
  • Label: New West Records
  • UPC: 607396613625
  • Catalog Number: 6136
  • Sales rank: 87,975

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ray Davies Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ray Kennedy Background Vocals
Bill Lloyd Electric Guitar, Guest Appearance
Mick Avory Percussion
Pat Buchanan Electric Guitar
Nicky Payne Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Craig Young Bass Guitar
Karin Forsman Background Vocals
Timothy J. Lauer Keyboards
Shannon Otis Forrest Drums
Technical Credits
Ray Davies Arranger, Composer, Producer, Engineer
Martyn Barker Drum Mix
Bob Ludwig Mastering
John Hurley Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another winner

    I have recently come to the conclusion that Ray Davies, the one-time leader of the now defunct Kinks, is one of the world's great songwriters. It may also be said that the Kinks were one of the most under-rated bands on the planet. Though brother Dave wrote some of the Kinks' best tunes ""Death of a Clown," "Strangers" and "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" to name a few" it is Ray who has been consistent in offering up a catalog of songs that is hard to beat, and quite often easy to dance to. The new CD continues to highlight Davies' capabilities, just as his last CD "The Lives of Others" did. "Vietnam Cowboys" starts off the CD and lets us know that the sardonic wit and insight that Ray alone can offer is intact and as valid as ever. Still the loner, Ray also reflects on his mugging/shooting in "Morphine Song", but somehow offering us an optimistic side to such a horrific event. The lyrics are great, the tunes well written and the production is top notch. Though the world should mourn the loss of The Kinks, it's oh so good to know that we have Ray Davies to keep us informed and entertained.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Music

    This albumn has a very Mark Knoflerish sound to me and it is very well written and performed. I like the parts of the tracks that I heard and I definately intend to purchase this one.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews