21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I absolutely love this album, and I'm not the biggest Kinks fan in the world. The tracks fit together beautifully, lending a satisfying flow to the whole and the lyrics are consistently superb all the way through. "David Watts" is a charmingly comic piece, up-beat and catchy: 60s pop at its best (it was later covered by Blur). The toe-tapping frippery of "Two Sisters" belies a deeper, more disturbing side to this tale of sibling rivalry. "Harry Rag" also has a darker edge, but this time formulated as a cockney sing-along. "Situations Vacant" is one of those tracks that once you've got it in your head just won't go away. For me the highlight is "Lazy Old Sun": an utterly original piece of psychedelic that could challenge the likes of Syd's Floyd. "End of the Season" rounds off the official album just right, with its drifty, nostalgic yearning for days-gone-by, complete with bird-song sound effects. The bonus tracks fit well with the album proper, being of equally high quality and containing the smash-hit singles "Waterloo Sunset" and "Autumn Almanac", as well as the lesser known but nonetheless excellent "Wonderboy".
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
While not quite approaching the greatness some of their contempories were achieving at the time, 'Something Else' found the Kinks really honing their craft to produce their most accomplished album up to this point in time. The songwriting and production was a great deal more focused than their previous efforts and if at times the songs lack the raw energy of previous albums, the sheer consistency found on 'Something Else' more than made up for it.
Ray Davies was now exclusively writing from an english perspective and many of the songs were now bathed in the mellow sounds typical of the Kinks late sixties output. Ray's sometimes quirky observations were now in full bloom with of a number of character songs eg. 'David Watt's', 'Two Sisters' (which is thought to relate to his relationship with brother Dave), songs related to the weather and the seasons, 'Lazy Old Sun', 'End Of The Season', and more general observations, 'Tin Soldier Man' and 'Afternoon Tea'. There are also a number of songs featuring Dave Davies on vocals including his hit 'Death Of A Clown' which generally adds a little muscle to proceedings. Of course the wonderful ' Waterloo Sunset' can't go without a mention.
There are also a few very inspiring extras including the singles 'Autumn Almanac', 'Suzannah's Still Alive' and 'Wonderboy' which are great enough to enhance any collection.
With 'Something Else' the Kinks were definitely approaching their peak although i don't think they quite reached it until their next couple of album releases.
'Something Else' is certain an essential purchase for any Kinks fan.
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2005
In his work on sixties music culture, 'Revolution in the Head', Ian McDonald pinpoints the pinnacle of pop as somewhere between 1966-7. Even a cursory look at the album charts around this time will corroborate this. 'Sgt. Pepper' aside, at the top of the list for all those seeking to build the definitive mid-sixties music collection must be this - the Kinks' best album by far. Don't be discouraged by the throwaway title - what lies herein represents the zenith of the Ray Davies output.
Having cast asunder the power pop that defined the early Kinks sound for more considered lyricism, the Kinks left their mark on 1966 with the album Face to Face. Something Else, released in 1967, builds upon its predecessor's championing of the narrative song - songs that offer more than the singer's frustation at not being able to 'be with you all of the time'. Like the denigration of the taxman in 'Sunny Afternoon' on Face to Face, on Something Else the listener is witness to the sardonic envy of David Watts, perfect at everything.
In this way, along with songs like 'Harry Rag' and 'Tin Soldier Man', Ray Davies displays his skill at the creation of caricatures in his songs, a form borrowed by Blur ('Charmless Man', 'Tracey Jacks'), Oasis (She's Electric)and countless other bands.
Even Ray's brother, Dave, is on form here, with the fragile dirge, 'Death of a Clown'. Indeed, it was the creative tension between the two brothers that led Ray to vent his feelings regarding sibling rivalry on the incredible 'Two Sisters'. Another gem on the album is 'Situation Vacant' a tale of a put-upon son-in-law seeking employment, that underlines how what can initially look like mundane subject matter can in fact allow writers to explore universal themes, such as duty, familial ties, and sense of worth.
Ultimately however, albums are rarely bought for any other reason aside from the quality of the songs. Each song on this album is a demonstration of wonderfully-crafted pop. As a consequence, this represents the best example of a Kinks album that works as a whole: more thoughtful than previous efforts, and more consistent than later albums like Village Green.
As an added bonus to the buyer, there is the inclusion of contemporaneous singles - Waterloo Sunset (the best song about London ever, fact), Wonderboy, and the sublime Autumn Almanac - a testament to custom and belonging: "this is my street, and I never want to leave it..." My local town Blackpool even gets a mention. A reference Damon Albarn would also use in 'This is a Low'. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2010
I have every kinks' record and this, along with its predecessor "Face to Face", is my favorite. What makes it so special is hard to describe, but these songs carry forward the London music hall tradition that Ray grew up in and that his family sang together on the weekends. This album too is a family affair with Ray's wife, Rasa, adding beautiful background vocals to several of the songs on the album including the sublime "Waterloo Sunset". The lyrics are simple and carefree "Lazy old sun", "Tin soldier man", "End of the Season". Paul McCartney also wrote a number of songs inspired by music hall "Michelle", "Fixing a Hole", "Your Mother should know" but for me no one did it better than Ray. The next two albums "VGPS" and "Arthur" are also not to be missed!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2013
1967 was a pivitol year for The Kinks (and of course, for rock 'n' roll in general). Ray Davies' beautiful masterpiece Waterloo Sunset came out at the beginning of the year's so-called Summer Of Love and was deservedly a big hit in the UK. It's parent album is this, and while it's not a huge step forward like Face To Face was from their earlier R 'n' B stylings, it's a bigger and better record than everything they did before. Kicking things off in speedy style is David Watts - a classic Davies character study about a schoolfriend. Next up is Dave Davies' trademark song Death Of A Clown, which arguably gives Something Else The Kinks' greatest opening 1-2 of their career. Before we reach the aformentioned Waterloo Sunset at the very end of the album, we're also treated to the jaunty musichall Harry Rag, the bouncy piano-led Situation Vacant and the laid-back ode to that most English of refreshments Afternoon Tea. Something Else, indeed.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The version that i have of this is the 1998 reissue which includes 8 extra tracks,so to review the album takes in these tracks,if you ask me are these filler tracks then i say no way,overall most people consider the 21 track edition the definitive version,the band themselves want it this way,well they can have it,and this is the kinks finest hour,make no mistake.
The album was released in 1967 and fell to the shadows behind 'Sgt peppers' by the beatles and The rolling stones classic 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' but that doesnt mean that this is a bad album,for this is a five star album so make of that what you will.
Track after track reveals another gem,i could just as easily single them all out,yet that would make for futile reading,but readers this album contains classic that you all know like 'waterloo sunset' and 'autumn almanac'and the stunning 'death of a clown' that will rip your spine apart with shivers.
The Kinks never bettered this but they continued to release albums of varying qualities all of which contains gems but for an album that sparkles like a gangster rappers gold tooth then this is the album.
on 5 September 2014
The Kinks' 5th studio album is a lovely collection of 13 short songs, typically lasting an average of less than 3 minutes apiece. Although Ray Davies remains the principal songwriter, brother Dave weighs in with 3 songs, including the lovely hit single 'Death of a Clown'; material wise, the band's sound was moving further away from the heavier, R&B sensibilities of earlier times. Generally, there is a feeling of nostalgia and whimsy here, which points the way towards 1968's glorious 'Village Green Preservation Society' - the list of superb tracks include 'Two Sisters', 'Situation Vacant', 'Lazy Old Sun' and 'End of the Season'. With classic songs such as the punchy 'David Watts' and the ethereal 'Waterloo Sunset' (as well as 'Autumn Almanac' among the Sanctuary bonus tracks), this is an excellent album which is well worth buying.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2012
What a gem! Ray Davies at the toppermost of his poppermost! "David Watts", "Two Sisters", "Afternoon Tea", "End Of The Season". I never tire of this album. It satisfies on so many levels. Everybody should buy this and listen to a composer/band at their magical best.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2007
A gorgeous album when it first appeared now enhanced with bonus tracks. This is the Kinks at their most thoughtful.
on 4 August 2013
Probably better appreciated as a retrospective than at it's inception, there are some nice gems on here to go with some of the big hitters that we all call for. A proper 'album' in the sense of listening in it's entirety and then revisiting and becoming so familiar.
Just like the Kinks, treat this as an old friend that will always be there.