Sound — 9
Doves are back and better than ever. I would only do a review on a CD I believe is worth reviewing in that people need to know the extent of talent put into this CD. So here it goes... The sound is unique, but very relatable to other bands. Their sound is comparable to many alternative/indie rock bands. It is composed of a deeper feel to it that conveys emotion and the sound is deffinatly not one to be a first time understanding. At times, Doves gives feel good tracks that have beats and riffs that are deffinatly head-bobbers with tracks such as "Compulsion," "Jetstream," and "House Of Mirrors," but convey heavy emotion with tracks such as "Kingdom Of Rust," "10:03," and "Winter Hill". Band member Jez Williams explained it as "schizophrenic, but... Also strangely cohesive." Oddly enough, with most tracks, it came out greatly. Whether you are into cool riffs or if your looking for something to give you goosebumps at the emotion in the song, this is deffinatly a good pick.
Lyrics — 8
Singer and bassist Jimi Goodwin is a great singer and conveys lyrics brilliantly through his voice. This past December Jimi's father passed away making this album even heavier on the heart and more meaningful. The lyrics to the song "Kingdom Of Rust" should have you emotionally attached to the song, while some songs are lyrically strong, but overshadowed by the sound of the music at times. At times lyrics aren't even needed and Jimi could just hum everything he sings and the message would still be conveyed. That is talented singing and the songwriting, although not being to the extent of the greatest ever, are probably some of the better lyrics I've heard out of all modern era bands. The lyrics convey a sense of dreariness, eeriness, skitzophrenia, paranoia, grief, excitement, hope, despair, and basically any other deep emotion you could possibly think of. One willing to dig down and fully absorb the music and lyrics will not be let down at all.
Overall Impression — 9
Ok overall impression... This CD is a must have! By far one of my favorite albums of modern era bands, and if you are familiar with Doves, saying it is among their best should completely motivate you. Their heavy sound at times makes it impossible to rest your body still and the smooth mellow songs take you on an emotional journey as the epic climax increases and fully becomes an explosion of feeling. Here's a bottom line song by song analysis: 01."Jetstream": Jez Williams sings this song with a very cool tone of voice. The quick symbols heavy bass drum and exciting climax leaves a great impression on your mind and makes you anxious to hear what else is to offer on the CD. 02."Kingdom Of Rust": best track on the album hands down. Lyrically the strongest, musically the strongest, emotionally makes you get goosebumps. This song should be listened to multiple times to absorb the full impact and once you listen to it, it will be a song you find yourself skipping to many times. 03."The Outsiders": very cool begining that reminds me of "On The Run" by Pink Floyd from DSOTM. It then kicks in with a very cool melody and standard cool Doves riff that holds up the tempo on the album very well. 04."Winter Hill": cool riff that could take some getting used to. The riff is almost like an odyssey on the guitar going from low to high high to low and just a blindfolded roller coaster ride I think of it as. Sound is deep and holds up the album great. Lyrically not the strongest but deffinatly one of the better songs. 05."10:03": another song that should be listened to multiple times. Starts off slow and then climaxes later which turns into a surprisingly better song than I thought when I first started listening to the song. The backup vocals, for me, make the song. If anyone is familiar with Interpol and their last track to Our Love To Admire, this song is deep like "The Lighthouse" was and the backing vocals make both the songs eerie but deep. 06."The Greatest Denier": fun song to listen to. Great song but typical Doves (not a bad thing, though, since they are a great talented group) Not too much to say with this one. 07."Birds Flew Backwards": again typical Doves. Slower and not much of a standout. Nevertheless, good song still. 08."Spellbound": this song starts picking it back up. The Acoustic strumming seems typical, but the electric riff and vocals really make this song one to return to later on after the best ones are worn down. 09."Compulsion": bass riff is like no other. This song is the most skitzophrenic-esque song and vocals were eerie and are the icing on the cake. This song will be a catchy noise heard in your head for a while with the incredible bass riff and symbol playing. 10."House Of Mirrors": this one I'm suprised hasn't raised more commotion. This song is similar to Doves older song "Pounding". It's high energy creates a feel like no other. Very cool open for interpretation lyrics are good, but first few times listening to the song one will be too busy thrusting their head up and down and bouncing their foot. Look for this one to stand out to anyone who listens to it. Deep yet with a heavy beat to attract a wide variety of music listeners. This will be one of your favorite songs guaranteed. 11."Lifelines": slow and not fully memorable, but the lyrics and vocals make this a great finish to the album, although if you like this album to this point and are like me, then it won't feel like the end since it will be an album that you must start over and listen to again because you can't get enough. This song sends off the CD in a way more like a controlled calm way, which is the way Doves do things, so it's very fitting. So overall, great CD one of Doves best in my opinion. Pick up this CD because it's a must have and one that I couldn't be able to listen to and forget. If you are a musician, the controlled energy and controlled epic climax should be a heavy influence and as far as deep feel and sound go, Doves crushed this one out of the ballpark. Pick it up today.