Release Date: Jun 4, 2013
Record label: Cleopatra
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Hard Rock
His second album since suffering a major stroke in 2004, I Will Be Me finds Dave Davies in a defiant state of mind but that doesn't prevent him from indulging in a little bit of nostalgia. These rose-tinted reflections arrive early on, as the album opens with "Little Green Amp," a gnarly little rocker that twists several Kinks songs together -- primarily "All Day and All Of the Night," but it can't help bring to mind "Destroyer" as well -- and the subsequent "Livin' in the Past" mines a similar heavy territory. Things get a little gentler from there, as he turns inward on "The Healing Boy" and gets romantic with "When I First Saw You," which only signals how much ground Davies covers here.
It may be a couple of decades since Dave strapped on a guitar to share a stage or recording studio with brother Ray, but he’s not averse to doffing his cap to The Kinks on his first solo offering in six years. The opening Little Green Amp borrows its crunching riff from All Day And All Of The Night, while also briefly pick-pocketing the melody and lyric of Sunny Afternoon. Yet at the heart of I Will Be Me there’s the hard-nosed rock Dave has traded in for the majority of his solo career (and The Kinks’ lucrative US arena success of the 80s), a return to his musical core values after 2007’s Fractured Mindz veered towards spirituality and mortality, often directly addressing the stroke he’d suffered three years earlier.
Kinks guitarist Dave Davies’s role in rock history is secure after writing the riff to 1964’s “You Really Got Me,” which helped ignite the hard rock movement. What is less secure is his solo career. Davies is a classic case of a great harmony singer (with the Kinks) but a dubious lead singer. This album is a wildly schizoid affair that ranges from open-throttle guitar rock to croakingly out-of-tune ballads and bizarre electronica.