From the first track of Ray Davies' latest CD "Working Man's Café" it's clear that at the ripe old age of 65 the man still has a lot to say about what's going on the world. Vietnam Cowboys is a biting commentary on globalization and the loss genericization of culture. But rather than preaching, Davies' combines wit with a good ol' rock and roll soundtrack.
You better top up your suntan
Looks like we're in for heavy weather
Nobody said it would last forever
Let's make a movie in Baghdad
Take the culture right to the Third World
Blow up a brand new civilization
In the name of globalization
Big confusion in Hollywood
Now it's American Major League in Japan
Hamburger in China
With sushi bars in Maine and Boston
Dollar signs said expand
Now it's cowboys in Vietnam
For a guy who penned more classic hits in a single Kinks album than most bands achieve in a lifetime, it's great to see Davies still very much a working man. Vocally Davies' remains as strong as ever. Musically the album sounds a bit like late stage Kinks combined with a dose of Nasheville sound and a pinch of Mark Knopfler. At any rate, it's rock music that has something to say. While not every cut on the album is a hit, there's at least half a dozen great songs and a couple of close contenders. It may not have brother Dave pounding out Kinks riffs, but it's still a strong, upbeat album and thoroughly enjoyable. There are some good clips on YouTube; the segment below is the song "In A Moment."
Ray Davies continues touring and has a few upcoming dates in the UK and the United States.