For many years, new Kinks albums have contained numbers that have hardly come up to the band’s historically high standards. But there has never been a Kinks LP that didn’t contain at least a couple of things well worth listening to, and Phobia is no exception. Though it has a few comparatively trivial numbers, like the standard mid-tempo tune ”Somebody Stole My Car,” there are also some great ones: the heartfelt rocker ”Drift Away,” the lovely ballads ”Still Searching” and ”The Informer,” and ”Hatred,” songwriter Ray Davies’ duet with longtime enemy, partner, and, of course, brother, Dave. Twenty-nine years into their career, the Kinks are still the proverb-ial girl with the curl, and when they are good, they are very, very good indeed. B+

Originally posted April 16 1993 — 12:00 AM EDT

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