The Kinks - Face to Face (1966), 5/10

Face to Face gets better with time and has the odd quality of getting better even during its run time. The valleys of the record are presented right away with “Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home” and “Session Man” with “Most Exclusive Residence for Sale” proving a rare exception to the pattern that the second half of the album is much better than the first. Most of the first half of the album sounds derivative and a product of its time before the band find some interesting ideas with the supercharged pair of songs in “Rainy day in June” and “House in the Country” which both finally have something to say while providing a decent depth and substance musically. While the album provides a substantial step up in quality after The Kink Kontroversy it still falls prey to many of the tired tropes of sixties pop music and fails to make a significant mark on its progression. Their influences can also be felt through rhythmic patterns especially, which at first is interesting but becomes tiresome before the end of the experience. There is still a major improvement with songwriting here, however, so much so that it completely separates itself from the rest of the band’s discography up until this point. The album could have been much better without three or four songs that are simple fillers in comparison to some clearly well thought out tracks. The structure of these songs is also a substantial step in the right direction, now including tasteful solos and modern structures in rock music. Clearly one of the better albums to emerge from the scene at this point in time.