The Kinks Village Green Preservation Society- 1968
RMR Album Rating- 8
The Kinks “The Village Green Preservation Society” is maybe the most pleasant and consistent album ever recorded. It is just a complete joy to listen to every time I play it, and even after hearing it countless times, it still surprises me just how pleasantly perfect it is.
Pleasant might sound like a strange adjective to use to describe an album, but if you’ve heard this album, I think you would agree. The album is a concept album, but don’t let that scare you off. There’s nothing overblown or pretentious about it. There are no side long or album long epics. It is simply a collection of 15 short songs that are all about the way life used to be in simpler times. The album focuses on a place called the Village Green. The Village Green is a fictional place (at least I assume it is) that is really just a metaphor for a place and time where things were easier, more fun, and… more pleasant. My take on the concept is that we all have our own personal “Village Green,” meaning that we all have a place or time that we look back on with fondness and remember pleasantly.
Every song on the album really is great. They are all performed in the same tone, but the album never becomes monotonous or boring. It clocks in just under 40-minutes, so it is an extremely easy listen, and you’ll know every word to every song after just a few listens. It’s also one of those albums where as every song starts, you’ll think to yourself, “oh, I love this one as well.” The only song that I find slightly sub-par is “Phenomenal Cat.” It’s not bad, and it doesn’t really detract from the album, but it reminds me a little too much of Pink Floyd’s “Piper At The Gates of Dawn,” which I’m not really a fan of. As for the other songs, take your pick; they’re all great. My personal favorites are the title track, “Picture Book,” and “Animal Farm”.
Click here to listen to The Village Green Preservation Society
Click here to listen to Picture Book
Click here to listen to Animal Farm
They also reprise the themes of the title track and “Picture Book” on the second half of the album with songs titled “Village Green” and “People take Pictures of Each Other”. These tracks are aces as well.
In closing, I’ll say that there’s never a time that I wouldn’t want to listen to this album, and it always makes me smile because it sparks good personal memories of my own metaphoric Village Green. Simply put, it’s just a fantastic feel good album.
Post Script: HP used the song “Picture Book” in one of their commercials a few years ago.
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