6

Patchy, palpable, Iíll take a rain cheque

Doves single releases have always failed to excite somewhat, 'Pounding', the title's a good start, the song bores, 'There Goes The Fear', big hype, hits you like a Nytol, there goes the insomnia. A friend of mine always talks of bad singles being the right song in context of an album, wrong song for release on its own and maybe with the Doves this can be applied.

This album kicks off with a middle of the road title track, which serves to epitomise the very aesthetic of most of their songs, a hopeful build-up that falls away to nothing but a yawn. 'Almost Forgot Myself' is a mix of a sad Feeder and a Hawaiian drone, but it's very tolerable, tittering on enjoyable...

This album goes from snore to yawn to smile to laugh, it's patchy, but bits stand out, 'Snowden' is particularly good for example. The LP's stringy and features cut-up sounds and piano parts and stuff that should make us happy, but it just seems lacking, drizzle rather than a thunderstorm. Some songs are just dirges that flop and flail but others work well, it's one for the fans I'm sure.

Not something to listen to to start your day, it won't energise you in the morning and make you think 'the day is mine', maybe with the lights turned out you can surround yourself in the colour of Doves and fall asleep. It's all a bit lacklustre and lethargic, it's sad and emotional but it's not '13' by blur, doesn't possess that energy that it needs...

You're excited, 'Walk in Fire' has just finished and 'One Of These Days' is about to come on, is it a cover of Pink Floyd you wonder, is this the redeemer? The beginning's ambiguous, possibly it is, no; it's a standard track with weedy drums, oh well. Hold out to 'Shadows of Salford' and you'll be glad you did because it's a smooth, streaming, weepy, sweeping structure worthy of a gramophone record pressing...

I can't see this album being remembered especially, the earlier stuff was better, here and there, ho hum, it's OK, and the context philosophy, well, it doesn't work here, do not apply, new single 'Black and White Town' is the best song on the album.

It'll keep the fans happy as Larry, but is unlikely to attract many newcomers, the Doves have produced a palpable album that starts with a glimmer of promise and drags, not everyone's cup of tea. It's the audio portrait of a grey, wet English day, puddles on the tarmac, fag ends floating in the water, drip drip drip dreary. Peace!