DOVES – Some Cities (Heavenly)

For Doves third album they have produced another collection of stunning songs, and you begin to wonder when the magic is going to start to fade. They are now at the forefront of a small sub-genre of the indie scene – bands who purvey an intelligent alternative to the mainstream guitar rock bands, and alongside Elbow, Shack, and to a certain extent Coldplay they provide a welcome relief to the banal charts or the ‘more attitude that talent’ bravado of some of today’s younger bands. ‘Some Cities’ and ‘Black And White Town’ both have a lot to say about Doves hometown of Manchester, with the frustration of the lyrics contrasted with the lushness of the music. ‘The Storm’ takes its inspiration from the Nicholas Cage film ‘Snake Eyes’, and the music has that widescreen feel to it, while ‘Walk In Fire’ touches on the effects of alcohol on one of their friends, with ‘One Of These Days’ having a similar theme of lost friendship. Despite the somewhat depressing tone of a lot of the lyrics the music is still upbeat, showing that you can overcome the setbacks that life throws at you if you put your mind to it. ‘Shadows Of Salford’ is another paean to their birthplace, this time looking at what Manchester-born superstars would make of their town if they ever went back there. Musically there is a lot to take in here as well - ‘Someday Soon’ being a vocal-led song with the band’s harmonies providing a suitably atmospheric feel, and ‘Sky Starts Falling’ being a dead ringer for the Strokes (although it was apparently written before ‘Room On Fire’ came out, and so is no lame attempt at street cred). In the case of many other bands an album of this quality would be seen as a coming of age, but in Doves case they have been this good from the start, and with ‘Some Cities’ completing a hat-trick of stunning albums it is time to recognise that Doves are currently one of this country’s top bands.