Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ray Davies has earned the right to pay tribute to himself on See My Friends, where the head Kink duets on many of his greatest hits with a bevy of guest stars, including Bruce Springsteen, Frank Black, Lucinda Williams, Spoon, and the late Alex Chilton. It’s just a shame that these performances had to be recorded, rather than taking place during some quickly forgotten, star-studded concert. At its best, as when Davies teams up with Springsteen on the energetic opener “Better Things,” See My Friends is merely bland. There’s even the occasional lovely moment, like the Chilton-assisted “Til The End Of The Day” and the “Days/This Time Tomorrow” medley with Mumford & Sons. But sadly, See My Friends is mostly embarrassing, pairing Davies with ill-matched partners like Billy Corgan, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, and Metallica, who reduce “You Really Got Me” to third-rate bar-band fodder. At this point, Davies gets a pass for simply being Davies. (Have you heard The Village Green Preservation Society lately? Still awesome.) But the man, and his songs, deserve better than See My Friends.


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