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Baker's Dozen

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Albums: Alex Kapranos' Baker's Dozen
Ian Wade , August 19th, 2013 09:04

The Franz Ferdinand frontman distils his record collection into a top 13 favourite albums


The Kinks - Something Else By The Kinks
It’s a record that always puts me in a good mood whenever I play it. Loved The Kinks when I was a kid and I learnt how to play guitar by learning from a Kinks songbook. I think if you are learning to play acoustic guitar, then The Kinks are a great place to start. Ray Davies makes the songs sound deceptively simple. There’s elements that are coming from blues or music hall or whatever, but he tends to modulate the chord progressions in really weird, unpredictable ways that are so fresh on the ears when you hear them even now all these years later you think, "How did you come up with that?", but at the same time they also had these pure pop melodies over the top as well. He didn’t sound like he was a smart-arse, he sounds like he has a very lateral imagination and also quite unconsidered as well in the way he must have written those songs. You can imagine him sitting there thinking, “I’m going to try this one now”. You can explain it in terms of music theory and it would sound complex, but he was “Why don’t I try this?”

Dave Davies is also a total star of this record: there’s a couple of really good songs like 'Death Of A Clown' is on this record too. 'Waterloo Sunset' is on here, as is 'David Watts' and so you have those classic Ray Davies songs about social observation, but my favourite song on the album is 'Two Sisters', and it’s about two sisters, one who has this mundane life who is jealous of the other one who has this carefree existence, and I might be reading too much into it but I sometimes wonder if it was "Raymond looking in his washing machine". I don’t know these guys, but I get the sense that Dave was a bit wild and Ray had a family at that time, and that the two sisters were in fact two brothers.

It also has this heartbreaking melancholia running through it which I think The Kinks capture so well, like very few bands can. It’s saturated with a sweet melancholia, and I think that song captures it.