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Cover Art Kinks
Preservation Act 2
Rating: 9.5

In this age of common sense, I don't understand why Preservation Act 1 and Act 2 weren't reissued together. Money, I suppose, as in the money Ray Davies so cheekily sings about on "Money Talks," one of the many standout cuts on this disc. Once you get beyond my petty griping, Preservation Act 2 is a joy to behold, a continuation of Davies' rock opera (yuck) that functions as a great collection of rock songs.

Like many a theatrical British act-- in particular, David Bowie and Queen-- the showiness of Preservation 2 is in the Broadway- meets- rock stylings of the songs. "Second Hand Car Spiv," for instance, recalls Bowie in his zig-zag "look at me" splendor. Meanwhile, tracks like "When A Solution Comes" and "Flash's Confession" sound like missing cuts from Pink Floyd's The Wall; neither of these songs would have seemed out of place in Roger Waters' seminal concept album.

Then there are tracks like "Mirror of Love," a psychedelic Dixieland number that could have only sprouted from the whimsical noggin of Ray Davies. His stickiness serates Preservation with a witty edge, with can't- wait- to- quote lyrics popping up all over the place. (Example: "Money can't run and money can't walk/ but when I write out a cheque I swear to God I hear money talk" from "Money Talks.")

Once again, the plot's a backseat sort of thing for me. The dramatic segues between some of the cuts are pure filler, and the plot- driven "Flash's Dream (The Final Elbow)" plays out like a bad acid trip. (The voice of Flash's soul is just begging to be slipped into a techno song, though.) In the end, it all comes down to Davies' superlative songwriting skills and his ability to corner the market on great rock and roll. In this day and age of ska/ swing/ more ska radio saturation, Preservation Act 2 gets the brain in gear and tickles all my happy spots.

-Jason Josephes

"Money Talks"

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10.0: Indispensable, classic
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible

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