Other People's Lives

  • Record Label: V2
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2006
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    Davies has lost little of his ability to marry great rock melodies to exquisitely offbeat lyrics. [24 Feb 2006, p.61]
  2. These are great pop songs put across in fantastic performances.
  3. His lyrics remain slightly twisted, the music is uniformly dark and the singer's still a little freaky.
  4. It's proof that while many try to emulate him, there's no substitute for the crankiest, funniest songwriter in pop.
  5. Reverberate[s] with the wistfulness and introspection that have forever been his trademark.
  6. Alternative Press
    80
    Davies' tone has the ironic air of a cockney calypso, while the music anchors his musings in familiar surroundings. [Mar 2006, p.88]
  7. The most apt comparison would be Dylan's more recent comeback albums; if not quite the masterpiece of Love and Theft, it beats the hell out of anything McCartney, Jagger or Simon have put out in the last fifteen years.
  8. Filter
    76
    The songwriting recalls Davies' Misfits days, which wouldn't be a snipe if he hadn't penned so many masterpieces with the Kinks. [#19, p.92]
  9. Billboard
    70
    Davies' first solo studio collection has all the tasty ingredients that epitomized the Kinks--primarily Davies' knowing lyrics and world-weary vocals. [25 Feb 2006]
  10. Rolling Stone
    70
    It is a cocky, winning performance by a singer-songwriter who, on this album, for the first time in his rock & roll life, is truly on his own. [23 Feb 2006, p.61]
  11. Blender
    70
    [An] assured and surprising record. [Mar 2006, p.110]
  12. Mojo
    70
    At moments Other People's Lives sounds weird and forced, but it's never less than fascinating and it's frequently sublime. [Feb 2006, p.93]
  13. Other People’s Lives is a record to get lost in, especially for those who can close their eyes and trust a sly old cuss to bring them back.
  14. At times Davies matures backward, trading the Kinks' tergiversating sophistication for rash generalization.
  15. An album that delights as much as it disappoints, leaving the listener not celebrating the rebirth of one of England's greatest songwriters, but slightly confused.
  16. Under The Radar
    60
    [The] glossy, over-the-top production style... detracts from the beauty and wit of the songs themselves. [#12, p.90]
  17. Q Magazine
    60
    If none are the kind of songs likely to be remembered with misty-eyed affection in another 40 years, they at least entertainingly tackle matters few others would. [Mar 2006, p.104]
  18. Sounds too much like a man chasing trends.
  19. The biggest flaw with Other People’s Lives is that the songs play to Davies’ weaknesses rather than his strengths, coupled with overproduction that veils any remaining virtue under a gauzy blanket of unnecessary studio witchcraft.
  20. Uniformly mediocre.... It leads one to assume he's either lost the ability to discern the padding from the profound or he just didn't give a shit.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Jim
    Mar 21, 2007
    10
    Ray is the man! Superb album!!
  2. LanceS
    Jan 3, 2007
    10
    I have been a Kinks fan for my whole life, and I had very little expectations for this new Ray Davies album, and I couldn't have been I have been a Kinks fan for my whole life, and I had very little expectations for this new Ray Davies album, and I couldn't have been more wrong. All She Wrote is a devastatingly brilliant song, and Stand Up Comic is the funniest song Ray has ever wrote. All that needs to be said is that "Other People's Lives" is the BEST ALBUM OF 2006. Period. Full Review »
  3. House
    May 22, 2006
    10
    Ray Davies releases his first solo album at age 61! Better late than never and better than ever. There are many who emulate him but only one Ray Davies releases his first solo album at age 61! Better late than never and better than ever. There are many who emulate him but only one orignal. This album was worth the wait. You'll laugh, you'll cry...Ray Davies at his best! Full Review »