In the decade or so since the Kinks finally called it a day, their reputation has grown and grown. They are now acknowledged as one of the select bands who set the direction for rock. And Ray Davies, their tunesmith, singer and musical guiding light, has assumed his rightful place as one of the three or four most important songwriters this country has ever produced. So Ray's solo debut at the age of 61 - having written his first number one more than forty years ago - really should be something of an event. It does not disappoint. All the elements that have made Davies such a unique and influential voice are present. Wry, insightful lyrics, melodies that instantly lodge in the brain and a unique musical range that touches on everything from heavy metal to music hall add up to a mix that could only come from the Muswell Hillbilly himself. Ray has deliberately avoided the Kinks' trademark powerchords - although they are present on one track, After the Fall, Ray knows that they really belong to brother Dave. Lyrically, however, Ray is on his best form for years. The songs are deceptive: the words may seem simple but, as always with Davies, there's an intellectual and emotional depth that few other popular songwriters have even attempted. At least half of these songs will find a place amongst Ray's very best. Not bad for a debut. 'Is there life after breakfast?' Ray asks in one of the songs. 'Yes there is' he chimes back. Is there life after the Kinks? Oh yes!