The friends in question, one suspects, are not so much the guests with whom Ray Davies collaborates here as the songs they are performing, Ray's babies from way back, now forced into a sometimes uncomfortable union with strangers.
It doesn't matter so much if it's Bon Jovi joining in on "Celluloid Heroes" or Springsteen Bruce-fying "Better Things"; but crown jewels like "You Really Got Me" and "All Day And All Of The Night" could be far better served than they are by Metallica and Billy Corgan respectively. Things improve elsewhere: Jackson Browne is suitably respectful of "Waterloo Sunset", Amy MacDonald treats "Dead End Street" with trenchant blue-collar poignancy, and Paloma Faith brings the right measure of faded cabaret glamour to "Lola". But didn't anyone want to do Sunny Afternoon?
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