Album: Doves, Kingdom of Rust (Heavenly)
Friday 03 April 2009
Where its predecessor's songs reflected an underlying sense of loss, these are full of hope and uplift, concluding with the resolve of "Lifelines": "Somebody's giving in, but I'm not/ Somebody's given up a whole lot".
The album has the best opening sequence I've heard this year, with the jittery Krautrock motorik and evocative keyboard progression of "Jetstream" building up a stadium-sized momentum before subsiding to allow the sublime title track to develop its own persuasive power. A relaxed, cantering number with a widescreen Western feel, "Kingdom of Rust" has the sort of graceful, reflective melody Leonard Cohen might have devised and the sentiment to match, Jimi Goodwin observing how "my god seeks an ocean of trust in the kingdom of rust". It gets brasher and more assertive, but without disturbing the gentle impetus of brushed snare that drives it resolutely along.
"The Outsiders" continues the Wordsworthian slant, with its muscular bass and cycling guitar figure carrying the sly notion of "Just the universe/ Making fools of us/ Just the two of us", before "Winter Hill" ushers us into the kind of bracing rural psychedelia that might have emanated from Traffic's country cottage, full of spangly guitars, fluting mellotron and backward tape effects.
There are seasonal references and natural imagery throughout, from the stormy seas of "Jetstream" to the swallows of "Birds Flew Backwards", and a complementary sense of separation, or decoupling, from the world, with the protagonist either flashing through the landscape (the train journey of "10.03") or standing still and alone in that landscape, watching vehicles flash past. It's a significant distance from the grim urban quagmire of Some Cities, and they sound all the better for it.
"Compulsion" is an unusual disco-funk groove in the 1980s crossover style of Ze Records, while "House of Mirrors" uses the looking-glass as a metaphor for memories, the endless reflections themselves analogised by the ever-deepening layers of guitar – the chiming arpeggios, the tart rock chording, the louche slide licks, and the barely restrained splutters of astringent guitar noise – which bind the lyric to its melody. Like everything else about the album, it's all carefully worked out, plotted and planned, but without once adopting the condescending assumptions common to the stadium acts whose position Doves will surely challenge. Album of the year? Quite possibly.
Download this: 'Jetstream', 'Kingdom of Rust', '10.03'
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Technology company Alibaba posts job advert asking for 'stunning' women with qualities of adult film actress Sora Aoi
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner as Jubilee and Jean Grey
American Horror Story season 5: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga
Jorge Luis Borges fan brings his infinite library to life online
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils