After their initial success via the breakthrough singles 'You Really Got Me', and 'All Day and All of the Night', and the release of their first album, the Kinks were rushed into putting together that 'difficult' second LP. The whole process was done cheaply, under pressure, and took about a week.
Kinda Kinks were the result, and though it's not Face to Face, or even Kink Kontroversy, it has some pretty good Mod era rock; ' Look For Me Baby', 'Come On Now'- with new wave female chorus provided by Ray's wife- plus other tunes of interest; ' Nothin' In The World Can Stop Me Worryin' Bout That Girl'- acoustic folk jazz ala Davy Graham and Bert Jansch, 'Something Better Beginning' the chorus sounding like an 80's Elvis Costello ballad- and the melodic and melancholy hit single, their first in that vein, 'Tired of Waiting For You'. There is also a seemingly toungue-in-cheek take on the blues standard 'Naggin' Woman' sung by Dave Davies, and a very undercooked cover of Martha and The Vandellas 'Dancing in the Streets' that's still more listenable than the Jaggers/Bowie thing.
But this remastered release also contains 11 other quality singles and B-sides, all of them essential to any well respected/respectable Kinks fan, ie: 'Who'll Be the Next In Line', 'See My Friends', 'Well Respected Man', 'Everybody's Gonna Be Happy', yet another power pop guitar hit, 'I Need You', and the Dave Davies' country plaint 'Wait Till the Summer Comes Along'. The last number on the disc, Ray's piano demo of 'I Fall To Sleep', ( covered over 15 years later by the Pretenders ), displays a lyrical and musical precocity on level pegging with the likes of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and the song could have been a hit for Dionne Warwick or Dusty Springfield.
All 23 songs, in mono, and within 55 minutes running time, merits the five star rating. The sounds and words tell of a more innocent and creative time, where two very young brothers and their mates were beginning to to evolve a poetic and distinctively English brand of pop-rock, less beholden to the American R&B and rock and roll beloved of the Beatles, Stones and the Who. More polished albums ( and several masterpieces ) were to come...