I had to do a bit of market research before I listened to this
record. I asked a bunch of people I knew what they thought of
it. The overwhelming majority of these people believe Some
Cities to be the finest musical work by the Doves thus
far, and mostly for one reason: All of the songs have their own
sound. After weeks of listening, ciphering through the album,
looking for the hidden nuances and special meanings, I've come
to one conclusion: Some Cities is, by far, the best musical
work thus far by the Doves. Why you may ask? Well, to oversimplify,
because each of the songs has its very own unique sound.
But let's not oversimplify. Instead, let's look at a few songs
and how they differ from the past catalog of the Doves. Whereas
the two previous records, The Last Broadcast and Lost
Souls, each had a very particular sound to them, Some Cities
covers far more musical ground. From the opening noise of "Some
Cities" to the closing ambient melancholia of "Ambition",
this new record is a trip through a varied and intricate musical
landscape. "Black And White Town" immediately calls
to mind the obvious influence of The Jam's "Town Called
Malice", but never seems to be plagiarizing the song. The
drums are solid, the guitars a clean wash of brilliant sound,
and the vocals carry a nice touch of production beauty. A more
modern garage sound is evident on "Almost Forgot Myself".
The drums are cleaner, the guitars are cleaner, the vocals are
cleaner, and the song carries an almost Coldplay style
mood, but once again, sounds almost nothing like Coldplay themselves.
There is that same sonic quality to the arrangement that dominated
A Rush Of Blood To The Head, but once again, the song never
becomes derivative. Skipping ahead to "Walk In Fire",
the Doves skirt the ambient pop beauty of Embrace's finer
moments. The guitars alternately wash and jangle, all the while
carrying along a solid bed of pure drumming and pristine vocals
that perfectly convey the brilliant poetry of the lyric.
This is not your older brother's Doves record. This is a new,
musically diverse, yet cohesive, Doves record
ably demonstrates that the band is a strong force in the modern
Britpop movement, one that will undoubtedly push the boundaries
by expanding the sounds of their forbears into new sonic territories.
This is the new Britpop revival begun. Pay attention, folks.
1. Some Cities
2. Black And White Town
3. Almost Forgot Myself
5. The Storm
6. Walk In Fire
7. One Of These Days
8. Someday Soon
9. Shadows Of Salford
10. Sky Starts Falling
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