1981 found The Kinks riding high. The band was a popular concert attraction and the bulk of their work from this period was perfectly suited to the broader gestures required in arenas. Ray Davies, never a man to shy away from irony, offers an album title that sounds like a directive. But the album's first song, "Around The Dial" stares squarely into the perceived dearth of meaningful fare on the contemporary airwaves.
The album closes with one of their strongest, most evocative songs in years. "Better Things," while sounding of a piece with the rest of the album, also harks back to their Village Green era. Full of celebration, the chorus ("I hope tomorrow you'll find better things") is a perfect mix of melancholy and hope--a classic Kinks combination. Davies produced the album to blend smoothly with the era's sonic priorities and values--the drum sound is clearly a product of its times--but the rich identity of this band is clearer and stronger than ever.