The Kinks katalog is full of sidebars that other bands would kill to have written. Commissioned for a film about a penis transplant, “The Way Love Used to Be” is one such sidebar. It feels most un-Kinks-like. Strings dominate the track. You don’t hear the band, and the song is not rooted in any pop tradition. It’s not consciously Anglophilic, either. But for the haunting melody and the unaffected vocal, the song could be maudlin. It doesn’t take the piss.
“The Way Love Used to Be” is two minutes of Ray Davies at his most lovelorn. You should stream it now.