‘Odessey and Oracle’ is as wide-eyed and innocent as The Kinks’ most delicate cuts, delivered pointedly with that same British wryness. The writing is frighteningly intelligent in the way that a hymn might be: it does not pamper its musical sentiments, but nevertheless maintains a brimming romanticism that could easily become cloying were it not for genuine beauty. This line is further found by lyrical shifts between grounded reality and baroque flamboyance (note the various narrative tones in Brief Candles). Almost all of these tracks are accessible, but The Zombies push their experimental buttons, instrumentally and poetically, at the right times.
A favourite: ‘Hung Up on a Dream’