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"You've paid your debt/Get up, you wreck/ And crawl out through the door/Love will return."

Elegant, gay, acerbic, pensive and hilarious, Ray Davies has always been an unlikely yet perfect rock star, a relic from the days when kids like me listened to Davies and the Kinks blast the inanely pure "You Really Got Me" out of transistor radios tucked under our pillows. Ray was one rocker who could turn on a dime to pen some of the most wistful classics imaginable, in the vein of "Waterloo Sunset." Like Pete Townshend, he's a superbly British social critic, rock librettist, suave handler of anthemic opuses, complex human being and adored, audience-pleasing performer.

Needless to say, there's a reason why such musicians are always welcomed back to the arena of popular music. And so it is with Ray's new CD, Other People's Lives, full of songs in the Misfits-era mold that are timeless yet well in tune with the times. Rejoice to know that the Muswell Hillbilly of old is back on the road, with a stop in Denver tonight at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place; for tickets, $35 to $60, call 303-830-TIXS or go to
Thu., July 6, 8 p.m.


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