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Some Cities
Heavenly Recording/ Capitol Records

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… One which 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.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Some Cities
2. Black And White Town
3. Almost Forgot Myself
4. Snowden
5. The Storm
6. Walk In Fire
7. One Of These Days
8. Someday Soon
9. Shadows Of Salford
10. Sky Starts Falling
11. Ambition

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