Americana

  • Record Label: Legacy
  • Release Date: Apr 21, 2017
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Apr 28, 2017
    100
    Americana is damn near as excellent an album as Davies has delivered since the ‘70s, a set of songs that will someday be seen as among his best.
  2. Apr 21, 2017
    90
    For as good as the songs are, what's initially so absorbing about Americana is this limber musicality. What makes it last are the songs, which are wry, moving, and truthful, which wasn't always the case in his book.
  3. 83
    Even as he’s celebrating the wonder of America and all its spoils, there’s an undercurrent of razor cynicism that belies the joy. That’s the fun yin and yang that makes Americana such a rich listen.
  4. Jun 12, 2017
    80
    Americana is an album you’ll want to make friends with. If there’s ever been a moment in your life that Ray Davies or The Kinks made better, you’ll find joy here.
  5. Apr 28, 2017
    80
    Showing himself to have lost none of his wit, melodic acumen or genuine love of and for people, places and things, Americana is as fine a late-career album as one could hope for. For long-time fans and neophytes alike, Americana is a treasure to behold.
  6. Apr 27, 2017
    80
    Americana is consistently melodic and witty, even if its mellowness sometimes verges on the sedate so that you fancy a burst of garage-guitar power chords from “baby brother” Dave to fire things up a bit. It’s an impressive comeback.
  7. Apr 24, 2017
    80
    Country-rocking backing band the Jayhawks are on top form, and the duet with Karen Grotberg, A Place in Your Heart, is affecting. The cod-Native American field holler of Change for Change and the shuffling, jazzy I’ve Heard That Beat Before are highlights.
  8. Uncut
    Apr 20, 2017
    80
    Entirely self-written and beautifully realised, Americana is a deeply satisfying reminder that Davies remains a songwriter with a huge reach, but few equals. [Jun 2017, p.29]
  9. Apr 19, 2017
    80
    Davies somehow hasn't lost a step along the way. Between his inimitable acerbic wit (the withering "Poetry" is peak Davies) and his generous attention to quirky detail (his ode to the road trip "The Great Highway" is a highlight), longtime fans will find much to celebrate here.
  10. 80
    Americana is the kind of concept album that Bernie Taupin might have written for Elton John; but being Ray Davies, it’s not so much comprised of fond, mythopoeic imaginings as the more specific (non-political) relationship that still subsists between Britain and America.
  11. 80
    There’s a lot to chew on, but Americana is an overstuffed, first class offering from one of the UK’s most feted songwriters and a worthy entry into Ray Davies’ rightfully esteemed catalog.
  12. Q Magazine
    Apr 12, 2017
    80
    Davies's melodic gifts remain bulletproof/ In fact, he hasn't sounded more creatively alive in years. [Jun 2017, p.106]
  13. Mojo
    Apr 10, 2017
    80
    Americana shows a man still writing to find out his place in the world. He's seen it all, he's seen through it all, but there's still open road ahead. There's no better adventure than that. [May 2017, p.86]
  14. Apr 10, 2017
    80
    Ray Davies’ dreams and reality combine to make Americana an absorbing listen. Just touching an hour in length, it is as curious and rewarding as anything he has ever done.
  15. 80
    The news is good though: Davies is in terrific, matchless voice, his storied career standing up to a sprawling treatment without too much drag.
  16. Apr 18, 2017
    73
    No matter where he dwells, Davies remains an outsider, and that alienation unites Americana’s jumble of eras and places.
  17. Magnet
    May 25, 2017
    70
    Kinks geeks will relish the autobiographical elements. [No. 142, p.54]
  18. Apr 21, 2017
    67
    A handful of songs here are as inspired as anything he has done in at least 30 years. But for an artist who has experienced enough of the American Dream to know where the truth is and where the lies are becoming more seductive, it’s a shame he didn’t have something more interesting to say about it all.

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