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The Last Broadcast

Upon first popping The Last Broadcast into the CD player, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. Nowhere evident was the angst and nowhere heard was the density of pain which played so heavily into the beauty of the first Doves album Lost Souls.

Instead what I heard was a pop song.

This was “Words”. Thinking to save myself from the unexpected light-heartedness, I forwarded to the next song, thinking any song called “There Goes the Fear” would have to be some dark, suffering anthem. Again I was treated to beats and melodies that seemed more befitting to a Stone Roses song than to The Doves.

As the album progressed I realized that I wasn’t going to get the lost, sad adolescent from Lost Souls, but was instead going to be listening to a happier young man who finally figured out some of the meaning in life.

Now this isn’t to say that the album is all upbeat. There are two instrumentals on the album - “Intro” and “Where We’re Calling From” - which are decidedly slower and dramatic, and as one delves into the later tracks, several are found to be more along the line of Lost Souls on a musical level.

The biggest surprise on The Last Broadcast are the decisively more lifting lyrics. Gone is the solitary introspection and depression so blatant in songs like “Catch the Sun” (Catch the sun, before it's gone/Here it comes, up in smoke and gone). Instead, we are told in “Satellites” by Jimi Goodwin and a gospel chorus to “hold on”, and in “Words” we are regaled with a rewritten ‘sticks and stones may break my bones’: Words they mean nothing/So you can’t hurt me/Words they mean nothing/So you can‘t stop me.

Goodwin’s voice is still plaintive and aching, and The Doves still leave you feeling a little melancholy. But it also leaves you feeling as though maybe you’ve learned a lesson with these guys: maybe next time you’re not going to make the same mistakes, maybe next time you’re going to make the right choices.

As I listened to The Last Broadcast more and more, I realized I liked this new guy. Maybe I can’t sit around the house and mope with him, but I know I can call him when I’m ready to stop crying and he’ll take me out for a drink.

Michael Trundle

Track Listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Words
  3. There Goes the Fear
  4. M62 Song
  5. Where We’re Calling From
  6. N.Y.
  7. Satellites
  8. Friday’s Dust
  9. K
  10. Last Broadcast
  11. The Sulphur Man
  12. Caught By the River

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