April 21, 2009
Kingdom of Rust
2009 | Astralwerks/Heavenly
It’s been a while since we last heard from Manchester boys, Doves – which is a shame since, as a part of the Radiohead fallout that hit Britpop in the early 2000s, along with Travis, Starsailor, Elbow, and Coldplay, they were always one of the more interesting bands. As former DJs, they always had fun ways of playing with sound, adding a nice kaleidoscope view to the grandiose, sweeping pop that dominated the scene. And while their colors faded slightly on their more somber album, Some Cities, their new LP, Kingdom of Rust, offers a balance of styles, with songs that are full of bright texture, yet still remain grounded.
The result, however, is nothing revolutionary, and yields a set of fairly straightforward songs glossed over with a love of soundscape. Listening to the album, one gets the feeling that atmosphere and mood were prioritized over strong melodies and adventurous constructions. Even with the billows of some meticulous arrangements, the album suffers largely from lulls. Songs such as “Winter Hill,” and even the upbeat “The Outsides,” lag – they feel like they’re just going through the motions of modern Britpop – and the majority of the song “Compulsion” is made up of a lifeless disco groove that’s embarrassing, especially coming from a band with their origins in Manchester raves.
More on Doves | Kingdom of Rust