# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Doves - Some Cities

  by Jonjo McNeill

published: 8 / 2 / 2005

Doves - Some Cities
Label: Heavenly Recordings
Format: CD


Slow burning, classic third album from much acclaimed Mancurian act Doves which finds them moving away from the melancholy of their previous offerings and looking more hopefully towards the future

Don’t you just love slow burning records? You know what I’m talking about – average, even disappointing on first listen, slightly better but not entirely convincing on the second, absolute classic by the fifth. The third album by Doves is just that. An absolute classic. In the three years since Doves’ last record, ‘The Last Broadcast’, we’ve had the rise of Keane (yawn), the re-emergence of Embrace (what?) and the complete world domination of Coldplay. Moody, emotionally bleak, and some would say morbid, music has become the fashion. Good news for Doves then, eh? You’d think so. But the Manchester boys have sacked all that dreary crap off and moved uptown and upbeat. Sort of. We already know ‘Black And White Town’ (and rightly so ‘cos it’s ace), and ‘Some Cities’ is full of poppier moments along these lines. The title track is a huge anthem, and the best album opener since…well, since ‘Words’ on the last Doves record. ‘Almost Forgot Myself’ mixes stomping, punchy drums with the bassline from Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’ and tops it off with cartoon backing vocals and a euphoric middle 8 to create a 4 and ½ minute pop opus. ‘Walk In Fire’ is the half brother of ‘There Goes The Fear’ and ‘One Of These Days’, which is classic material, even encourages foot tapping and all over body movement. ‘Some Cities’ should’ve been called ‘The Grey Album’ – it certainly conjures up images of long, dark evenings in a grotty council estate boozers – but the underlying theme of this record is hope. Hope against hope that all the problems associated with the seemingly impossible-to-escape life in dull, satellite towns (alcoholism, boredom, drug abuse, the rut with the overly high edge) aren’t insurmountable. Whilst the majority of ‘Some Cities’ is an upbeat departure from the norm, Doves do revert to type for ‘The Storm’ (eerie, atmospheric and totally life-affirming) and ‘Someday Soon’ (eerie, atmospheric and totally life-affirming), but the two styles do work well alongside each other, and the album feels more whole as a result. And they’re at their most beautiful on the amazing ‘Shadows of Salford’ and ‘Ambition’. Much has been made of Doves’ long run of bad luck, so I’m not going to arse on about that here, but with 'Some Cities' they've really triumphed. Moving away from the melancholy of previous records is a good move from the listeners’ perspective, because Doves do euphoria well (I wonder why?). Maybe they might even use some colour on their next album sleeve, but that’s probably wishful thinking. Maybe we should just be grateful for ‘Some Cities’, because (after five plays) music doesn’t get much better than this. Or does it?

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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live reviews

Royal Albert Hall, London, 5/4/2003
Doves - Royal Albert Hall, London, 5/4/2003
In an incredible show featuring a guest performance from the Who's Roger Daltrey, Jonjo McNeill watches Manchester's Doves transfrom London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall "from a dull, upper class opera house into a sweaty Northern indie club"
Exeter University Great Hall, 29/11/2002

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