THE KINKS – “Autumn Almanac” / “Mr Pleasant” (Pye 7N 17400) October 1967
The Kinks “Autumn Almanac” – Mr Ray Davies, prolific as ever, now surfaces with a saga of autumnal bliss. Of toasted buttered currant buns and the like. Ah me, I know what he means.
As a record it’s rather more meandering than we’re used to from The Kinks with Ray’s voice even further back than usual and a chorus of sighing ‘oh wah’ like leaves falling, in the background.
Parts of it remind me of the Beatles’ “When I’m 64,” and at one point people get very carried away going “yes yes yes” and thumping and yelling. It will need more than the customary two plays, but then everyone will knock their beer glasses together and go “oh yes it’s my autumn almanac!” – with feeling. Not a number one though.
(Disc & Music Echo, 14/10/67)
Ray Davies closely following the seasons again with an autumn song which may be a little under-powered to give the Kinks the kind of success they’ve been used to.
Full of boosting brass sounds, big, full and nicely floating harmonies but not enough energetic atoms to grab the attention. Should make the twenty but not the ten.
Is it time Ray stopped writing about grey, suburbanites going about their fairly unemotional daily business? Expansion – in the direction of Dave’s “Death Of A Clown” – showed great promise. It’s time for the Kinks to stop being “commercial” (horrible word), musically unimaginative, and get out of their bag.
One feels Ray works to a formula, not a feeling, and it’s becoming boring.
(Melody Maker, 21/10/67)
Brisk, catchy, well-worded, rather simple in construction – Ray singing gently but with moments of power on the title line. Must say he always comes up with something different in conception. Good gentle harmonies behind. This will be a substantial biggie.
FLIP: Almost George Formby-ish, a sort of greeting song. A bit odd.
(Record Mirror, 14/10/67)