Doves - The Last Broadcast - Review
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critics' view

Doves make a triumphant return with what we can only hope is not their last broadcast. Lost Souls came out two long years ago and we've been waiting with trepidation to see what would happen next. The tricky second album could have gone either way; there could have been a couple of good singles and a load of fillers, but incredibly every track on The Last Broadcast hits the bull's eye.

Words sets the tone with its atmospheric vocals and big guitar sounds and warms you up for the simply brilliant "There Goes the Fear Again". A fantastic anthem full of joy; a song where the excitement builds with each twist and turn before exploding with the chorus: 'Think of me when you're coming down, Dont look back when leaving town'. These lines reveal the album's theme; admitting wrong and refusal to regret. Resolutely look to the future instead.

After all the thrills and excitement of "There Goes the Fear Again" you need a come-down which is provided by the dreamy pop sounds of "M62 Song". Probably the coolest song ever named after a motorway.

N.Y. and "Satellites" see the band in full throttle, with guitars that shimmer with sonic effects and Jimi Goodwin exercising his superb vocal range. "Fridays Dust" returns to the melancholic vibe; Goodwin's ethereal vocals sound as if he's mourning loss of life and the eerie, magical guitar sounds send shivers down your back.

Pounding is seemingly named after its relentless drumbeat that forms the backbone of the song. 'This can't last forever' cries Goodwin above the din. "Seize the moment" he urges; "don't waste a second".

There are plenty of influences in evidence here (especially Mancunian) and the gritty Northern lyrics aren't always original, but they take their mixed bag of influences and manage to produce an album very much of 2002. "Caught by the River", the album's finale traces a familiar, but not tired, course. The song builds, there are highs of sonic guitar and quiet, dreamy vocals with the final chorus of 'giving it all away'. The band have given their all; they've produced a fantastic album to celebrate life. Rejoice and spread the word.

Dan Tallis
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The BBC's album reviews ended in 2013, although the pages are archived for retrospective reading.
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