The second collection of media reviews for the album. To start things off, the first review for the single Andalucia.
Doves show that heaven knows they’re not miserable now
Since Joy Division and the Smiths, critics have married the words “Mancunian” and “miserablist”. From Elbow to I Am Kloot, it seems a northern soul is always a sad one, right? Wrong. Doves have always demonstrated that they can pen sky-reaching anthems, as their forthcoming Best Of album shows. New track Andalucia is no exception. “The world that we see, belongs to you and me,” sings Jimi Goodwin in a voice that soars higher than the clouds. It seems even heaven knows they’re not miserable now.
Debut Lost Souls remains an enduringly consistent piece of shadowy, orchestral rock, and it could’ve been well represented here by any of its tracks. Despite being posed as the darkness before The Last Broadcast‘s light, Lost Souls gets cherrypicked for its most emphatic numbers. “Catch the Sun” remains the strongest melody Jimi Goodwin has ever written, while the harmonica and guitar peals of the misty “Sea Song” exude a low-key ecstacy. Even the stately, string-led waltz “Man Who Told Everything” is included as a truncated “summer” version.
The songs on the album have not been ordered in chronological order of release and the band have taken painstaking care to arrange the tracks specifically in the way that they wanted their fans to experience the album. This really works as their four albums varied quite significantly in terms of influences and sound. For example, The Last Broadcast had strong psychedelic rock influences such as King Crimson while Kingdom of Rust was a bold album with snatches of disco, spaghetti western themes, and electronic beats.
The second disc begins with another new recording, “Blue Water” which reminds me of Karl Wallinger’s World Party. It is a fabulous song and one that I’d like to see released as a single. The rest of the disc is a rather laid back cross section of solid and mostly unknown songs. The disc has a serious, downbeat sound and should have a great appeal to fans and new listeners alike.
I’d always liked Doves but it took this collection to make me love them. Hearing so many great songs in one collection made me realize just how much great material they have released over their career and I do believe the second disc will keep me going until they come back with more. I would certainly recommend the three disc set of The Places Between: The Best of Doves (even if you already have all the albums) because of the new materials, the b-sides and rarities and of course, the videos.
If you are going to start with anything Doves at this point, you may as well start with The Places Between, because 4 albums of catch up might be too much in terms of epic rock. There is over 40 songs here, which may seem like a lot, but captures all the best parts of the band . . . the booming bass, haunting vocals, epic soundscapes, and triumphant, tribal drum patterns. They truly are a treasured band, and although The Places Between feels like closure on the band, with 14 previously unavailable tracks on here as well, this is a good place to put Doves in context