After having spent a long stretch of albums inside a predominately English sound, The Kinks explored outside of that by crafting a concept album about a band making their way through the music industry and it really worked on the well executed Lola Versus Powerman and the Money ground Part One. Davies and the boys stick to the concept pretty well as they go through the birth of the band on the rock & roll banger “The Contenders”, get to the top on the charts on hard rocker “Top of the Pops”, get frustrated with greed on “The Moneygoround” and control on the charging “Powerman” and finally break out of it all on the rustic closer “Got to Be Free”. Other tracks flesh out the story further and explore the characters involved, as the classic “Lola” provides a chance meeting with a transgender woman over a laid back boogie, “Strangers” goes roots rock to express longing for a lost friend, theres a desire to get away on the country infused “This Time Tomorrow” and “Apeman” again expresses escapism over a groovy Jamaican sound. On Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, I really thought the Kinks found a great way of encompassing a wide range of styles inside a concept that I’m sure was hitting really close to the band’s own struggles for success. It’s a theme they would revisit in future works.
Favorite Tracks: The Contenders, Strangers, Lola, Top of the Pops, This Time Tomorrow, Apeman, Powerman