Working Man's Cafe

  • Record Label: New West
  • Release Date: Feb 19, 2008
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 1 out of 17

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  1. KenM.
    Apr 5, 2008
    9
    A very strong effort from Ray. A notch above Other Peoples Lives, which I thought was quite good. I'm happy that old Ray still has his chops. Favorite cuts include Imaginary Man, No One Listen, In a Moment, and Voodoo Walk.
  2. PhilG.
    Mar 31, 2008
    8
    Solid Ray Davies offering, but as always, would have been better if Dave Davies played on it.
  3. RayL.
    Apr 23, 2008
    10
    What other singer/songwriter can produce such original material after a 40-year plus career. Each your collective hearts out, Rolling Stones.
  4. TonyB.
    Feb 22, 2008
    10
    This album will grow and grow on you.
  5. RonnyV.
    Feb 22, 2008
    10
    This is Ray at his best .
  6. RuneH.M.
    Feb 23, 2008
    10
    "Working Man's Café" is the best Davies album since "State Of Confusion" (by The Kinks) from 1983. One word is enough: excellent!
  7. DeanA.
    Feb 24, 2008
    10
    Ray's best material in years. He combines the 'classic Ray melodies' and ocassional lyrical revisits such as 'the world keeps going round' with solid rock riffs- 'Hymm For A New Age' and 'Peace In Our Time' His humor, observations and sarcasim are welcome-'Morphine Song' It's a pleasure to still have Ray Davies producing great Ray's best material in years. He combines the 'classic Ray melodies' and ocassional lyrical revisits such as 'the world keeps going round' with solid rock riffs- 'Hymm For A New Age' and 'Peace In Our Time' His humor, observations and sarcasim are welcome-'Morphine Song' It's a pleasure to still have Ray Davies producing great music. He is one of a kind. We need a North America tour!! Expand
  8. SteveL.
    Apr 7, 2008
    8
    Title track, You're Asking Me and Real World make for some shining standout moments.
  9. IgnacioD.
    Nov 22, 2008
    10
    A very compassionate, complex and interesting albums from the greatest songwriter in rock.
  10. HarryR.
    Feb 24, 2008
    8
    There's one track on this album that's as good as anything Ray has ever done. "You're Asking Me" snarls like early Kinks songs, has a chorus every bit as catchy as "David Watts", and lyrically is one of the strongest tracks on WORKING MAN'S CAFE. It's probably no surprise that it's one of the few songs on this album that sounds as if it could have been There's one track on this album that's as good as anything Ray has ever done. "You're Asking Me" snarls like early Kinks songs, has a chorus every bit as catchy as "David Watts", and lyrically is one of the strongest tracks on WORKING MAN'S CAFE. It's probably no surprise that it's one of the few songs on this album that sounds as if it could have been written for The Kinks. Ray has said in several interviews that he's not really comfortable as a solo artist...he misses The Kinks, or at least being in a band. Coming less than two years after his first proper solo release, OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES, this is a much better album, but why? For one, the songs are a bit more introspective, and even when Ray is being bitter, you must remember, he was bitter in 1965. "I'm On An Island"..."I'm Not Like Everybody Else" weren't exactly the sentiments of a man at peace with the world around him. What carries these songs is the conviction with which Ray sings them. "Peace In Our Time" features some of his best vocals ever, even if they lyrics border on cliche. While OPL felt quite labored and over-produced, WMC has a much fresher feel. "Morphine Song" has a fantastic horn arrangement, "Imaginary Man" is Ray at his best as an outsider looking in, and "No One Listen" simmers with rage "at the age of computers and communication". While OPH had a couple of clunkers, there is nary a song on WMC that is downright embarrassing. While Ray has made references to a potential Kinks reunion, I'm not holding my breath, especially since Dave is still not exactly fit for touring as he continues to recuperate from a stroke a couple of years ago. This is a strong album, and I'm thrilled to see Ray is still making new music. Here's hoping he gains confidence as a solo artist, and finds a good group of touring musicians that have the muscle and swagger he needs. Expand
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Working Man's Cafe feels like exactly the album a 60-something rocker would craft--assured and direct yet searching and restless, a glimpse into the head of a man who's comfortable in his skin but still wonders how he fits into a world that seems to be turning faster and stranger as the years pass by.
  2. The net result is smart, personal and potent.
  3. 60
    This album about the seamy, scary side of Bushland, conceived after Davies was shot in New Orleans in 2004, is a mixed bag of pointed personal reflection (Good Ray) and facile social critique (Bad Ray).