Dave Davies: Hidden Treasures

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Dave Davies
Hidden Treasures
(Castle)

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Some are calling Hidden Treasures Dave Davies’s lost album. Others are billing it as a compilation. Either way, it’s a worthy collection of the less well known Davies’s compositions from the 60’s. I only knew of Dave the songwriter through singles like “Death of a Clown” and “Susannah’s Still Alive.” These gems are here along with many other songs written around the same time. Usually, when Davies is mentioned it’s with regard to his distorted proto-punk guitar playing on early Kinks songs like “You Really Got Me.” Little of that is heard on Hidden Treasures though. Almost all of the tracks are jangly, mid-tempo pop songs with plenty of catchy melodies and great harmonies. It isn’t stylistically different from the Kinks, but Dave has a very different approach than his brother Ray. His voice is far more direct, not adopting the many characters and affectations Ray uses. Similarly, the songs come off as being more heartfelt. Dave is a sympathetic narrator of his stories while Ray is known for being a somewhat detached observer. The majority of the songs here are good, but if Hidden Treasures was originally intended as a complete album, it just doesn’t compete with any of The Kinks’ classic albums. The sameness of the material gets monotonous. Dave had his own talents for sure, outside of his brother’s and it’s good to have all these songs in one place. That might not be the best way to experience them though.

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