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Doves - Kingdom of Rust


Kingdom of Rust


It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the Manchester boys from Doves, which is a shame since as a part of the Radiohead fallout that hit Britpop in the early 2000s—with bands such as Travis, Starsailor, Elbow, and Coldplay—they were always one of the more interesting ones. Being former DJ’s, the band always had fun ways of playing with sound, adding a nice kaleidoscopic view to the grandiose, sweeping pop that was going around. And while their colors somewhat faded on their previous, more somber album Some Cities, their new LP Kingdom of Rust offers a balance of styles, with songs that are full of bright texture while remaining grounded.

The result is nothing groundbreaking, however, and yields a set of fairly straightforward songs glossed over with a love of soundscape. There’s the feeling that for a lot of the album, atmosphere and mood have been put above strong melodies and daring, and even with the billows of meticulous arrangements, the album suffers lulls. Songs such as “Winter Hill” or even the upbeat “The Outsides” lag with the sense that they are merely going through the motions of modern Britpop, while the majority of the song “Compulsion” is made up by a lifeless disco groove that’s embarrassing coming from a band that originates from Manchester raves.

geoffrey anstey

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