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Friday, 26 April, 2002, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Doves aim for grandeur
Doves hail from Manchester
This album could catapult the group into super stardom
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By Ian Youngs
BBC News Online

Doves' debut album, Lost Souls, was the type of CD to inspire utter devotion in those that liked it and utter indifference in those that did not.

The Mancunian trio burst onto the scene in 2000 with the majestic, melancholic masterpiece that appealed to those that liked their rock music deep, dark and atmospheric.

The Last Broadcast is the follow-up - which is usually either seen as the "difficult" second album or the release to confirm a band's greatness and shoot them to superstardom.

So, which will it be for Doves?

Andy and Jez Williams met Jimi Goodwin when they were 15
Doves: keeping the miserable Mancunian tradition
The first single to be taken from the new album, There Goes the Fear, went straight in at number three in the charts - a great sign for a band whose biggest previous hit was at number 32.

Cynics would say the fact that it was sold for 99p had something to do with its success - but it is a sublime slice of mature pop and much better than the Oasis effort that went to number one.

It is also just about the best song on The Last Broadcast.

And with its theme about getting over bad feelings, it epitomises the album's mood.

Lost Souls was intense and sorrowful, and The Last Broadcast is still moody but at least learning to be optimistic.

The CD artwork also sums up the same change - the sun is beginning to break through the clouds, but only just.

Doves are still carrying on the great Mancunian tradition of being miserable blokes, and conjure the ghosts of The Stone Roses at more than one point.

The album is "difficult" in places
They are also reminiscent of a slightly less druggy Spiritualized, or a slightly less polished Verve.

There are a lot of guitar-filled chasms, atmospheric effects, tortured wails and experimental blips to go along with the tunes that can be both simple and brilliant at the same time.

Friday's Dust, filled with lots of deep voices and reverberations, sounds like Lennon and McCartney on a real downer.

Caught by the River, which should be the next single, is a dreamy anthem that swells and rushes like a tide of emotion.

The trouble is, many of the tunes just do not live up to the grandeur of the ideas - which is very frustrating because we know that when they do, they are great.

The fans will say this album contains difficult greatness, but the rest will say it's just plain difficult.

The Last Broadcast is released by EMI: Chrysalis on Monday 29 April.

"Hear a clip from There Goes the Fear"
See also:

22 Apr 02 | Music
Oasis still favourite with fans
27 Sep 01 | Music
Elbow's long-awaited success
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