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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Some Cities
Capitol Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

June 2, 2005
Today, if British pop rock is supposed to be led by the likes of popular bands Radiohead and Coldplay then being a second tier group from England isn't all that bad. For Doves, certainly the massive acceptance of the aforementioned acts has played into their career at some point, although not enough to take away any amount of individuality from the creative Manchester trio, as they have settled upon their own path to acceptance.

With the direction that Doves eventually took, you might say they encapsulate the title 'Brit rock' much better than the other two bands who have always had feet firmly planted in both American and Brit rock camps. If not evidenced by Doves first two full lengths, 2000's Lost Souls and 2002's The Last Broadcast, certainly this year's Some Cities brings the listener to a regionally British musical place, a place that groups Radiohead and Coldplay transcend to some extent.

The identification to this brand of rock music is not a bad thing, it just puts Doves in a different classification of the diversified rock spectrum. The form of music is typified by solid, fill-sparse drum work, string arrangements, catchy, effortless guitar lines, melancholic tinge and a melody-focused songwriting attitude. To all these elements, Doves and Some Cities play just as much to the indie side of things as all things poppy; they are not stuck writing strictly formulated, cheesy tunes. The album has a mood that runs throughout, unfolding from nothing into something extraordinary. Songs start as flowers waiting to bloom, with Jimi Goodwin's eventual catchy vocal choruses being the beautiful leaves finally blossomed.

Infiltration from electronic effects also takes the album to a more independent place. A great example is during the soulful, slow winding "The Storm." Goodwin sings over a string section to the obligatory comparison towards the Beatles and John Lennon. It is after a couple lines that one notices the strings being dissected, similar to the way in which glitch artists create rhythm patterns.

"Snowden," perhaps the album's best track, contains an electronically effected guitar during the chorus that sounds like distorted female voices trapped in ice caves. During the track, mildly fuzzy guitars push a bit of brashness, bells trickle over repeating guitar note patterns and the drummer taps on the kit shells for time keeping. The energy is electric and confident and never too far in one direction of the emotional scale, tepid.

From a mind that has been influenced by American style rock music, it is hard to think of Doves without conjuring up comparison to native counterparts such as Blur, Oasis, or Morrissey. In listening to Some Cities, these comparisons are only as warranted as comparing any general American rock band to another. Of course there are similar elements, as it is all rock music, but Doves bring their own style to the counter and sell it well with this latest album.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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