Monday, April 13, 2009


Put A Record On: Doves Comes Out Of Retirement
April 13th, 2009 | Manchester

With many of today's rock 'n roll stars barely out of puberty, British atmosphere rockers Doves are old enough to be pensioners. But the Manchester trio manages to defy age and emerge from its four-year retirement with Kingdom of Rust, a career-best album with achingly beautiful melodies.

With three studio albums and literally hundreds of tunes to choose between, it's a sensible and mature return to form for Jimi Goodwin and brothers Jez and Andy Williams. Electronic influences, as on opener "Jetstream," seem to be derived from the band's earlier incarnation as late '90s techno outfit Sub Sub, but the album is a solid rock-based outing.

The title track boasts a Johnny Cash-inspired guitar melody and sports Doves' characteristically dreamy lyrics. Many tracks drip of Kraftwerk-esque synths, while others, such as "Compulsion," evoke "Crystal"-era New Order with a stomping bass line intro. Doves has spent its hiatus well, having clearly absorbed a canon of excellent music, but the result is by no means a borrowed or stolen concept. Instead the band manages to reinforce its already established identity for epic mastery.

Doves has a lot to live up to with older tracks such as "Pounding," "Black & White Town" and "There Goes The Fear," but Kingdom of Rust is startlingly beautiful, proving that some things only get better with age.

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—David Hellqvist

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