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Doves | Lost Souls | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop


Lost Souls (Astralwerks)
by Tim Den

House band reinvented? Britpop gone electro? The Stone Roses on depressants? How about all of the above? Doves, the Manchester-based trio known as Sub Sub in an earlier incarnation, are masters at dispersing head-lowering hooks through a multitude of sonic disguises. By allowing themselves to bounce between ambient instrumentals, straight-up rockers, acoustic ballads, jangly pop, and subtle drum'n'bass moments, they are never nailed down to any one genre. But it's not categorization that the band values, anyhow; they just wanna make sure each song has strong refrains and centerpieces. Whether it's the opening instrumental "Firesuite" or the Led Zeppelin-ish swagger of "The Cedar Room," you walk away understanding Doves' identity because of the looming darkness. It's a darkness that's beautiful, soothing, eerie, yet strangely familiar, like best friends meeting for the first time.

"The Man Who Told Everything" is worth the disc alone. Hell, it's worth more than that... It's the kind of song worth sifting through a thousand bad CDs to stumble upon. It's a melancholy masterpiece that makes the stereo drip digital tears. "Catch the Sun," with its surprising vocal twists-n-turns, is close behind on the genius scale. Plus, it crunches like a bag o' chips and makes good use of fuzzbox distortion pedals. Then there's "Sea Song," sounding almost like the main riff from "Call of Ktulu" by Metallica, and we all know the goose bumps that tune can cause.

Supposedly, Doves are Ross Robinson's favorite band right now. And though I still can't really believe Robinson is slated to produce the band's sophomore record, I really can't believe Coldplay got huge and not Doves. Majestic, sprawling grandeur set to tragic atmospheres and distinctively British melancholy... Lost Souls has secured a place in my list for "Best Records of 2001."
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