Review Round-Up #14

Better late than never! Here’s a few more reviews of Doves’ Kingdom Of Rust album, from the past few days.

The Yorker, Album Review:

The Yorker

Few bands have come to the world’s attention on the strength of a debut like Doves’ Lost Souls, an album that set an almost impossibly high standard. Nine years and three albums later, the band still have an awful lot to live up to.

Like its two immediate predecessors, Kingdom of Rust falls short of greatness but it is mostly a strong and accomplished album. The basic elements are present; tightly structured songs, great hooks, singalong choruses and immaculate production. The success of this formula is exemplified by ‘Spellbound’, which charges and soars like clockwork. This is hearty music from a group who are, by now, thoroughly comfortable in their collective skin. Indeed, you could be forgiven for mistaking comfort for complacency; it is hard not to suspect that a lot of these songs have been written and perfected before. For that reason, album closer ‘Lifelines’ comes as a welcome surprise. Sounding quite unlike anything that precedes it, the track is a thumping tribute to perseverance in the face of adversity. It is fresh, invigorating and sincere and may just be one of the first great pop songs of 2009.

The Dumfries & Galloway Standard, Album Review:

IT’S ALWAYS tempting and somewhat lazy to compare bands with other outfits within their genre.

Doves however somehow defy that style of reviewing because they are extremely hard to pigeonhole (absolutely no pun intended).

They just do what they do very well.

There’s nothing at all rusty about this album despite the title.

It just does what it says on the tin. Pop music that’s had a wee flirtation with indie but decided that they probably weren’t compatible.

The intro to title track Kingdom of Rust is reminiscent of The Devine Comedy (the band, not Dante’s magnum opus). There’s a superb locomotive of a rhythm and a sweetheart of a chorus that singles this one out as, well, a single.

You may be tempted to stick this one on the stereo on returning from a night out as a wind down from clubbing album given the vibes in the first two tracks.

Don’t go there because there’s a curveball coming that will hit you square in the guts which reminds you just why this lot have sustained.

Winterhill is a get your lighters aloft anthem. It’s what festivals were made for.

Catch Doves at T in the Park where they will confidently showcase this gem. This is Coldplay for happy people.

Artist Direct, Album Review:

Artist Direct

The likenesses between British indie rockers Doves and megastars Coldplay are obvious and expected as the two groups share similar backgrounds, influences and styles. But while the latter have spent the last several years chasing glamour by the tail, the former have opted to sit thoughtfully back and observe the world; a quality which has added a richness and legitimacy to their music.

Doves’ fourth album, Kingdom Of Rust, is an adventurous exploration of all the areas that lie directly outside of their Radiohead-inspired, ethereal and digitally-aided brand of indie rock. From the beautifully atmospheric sci-fi vibe of “Jetstream” to the country/western colored title track, Doves swell in and out of a multitude of different soundscapes, while retaining their inherent sound and integrity all the way through this eleven-track pleaser of the senses. Arranged by The Chemical Brothers’ Tim Rowlands, “10:03″ is among the album’s most innovatively mesmerizing tunes, while Doves’ look backwards to the likes of New Order and Queen for the upbeat and interesting “Compulsion.”

Lacking a single dull or poorly-written moment, Kingdom Of Rust is as honest and tuneful as any album out there today, and one that places Doves miles ahead of their counterparts. Records like this should simply not be ignored.