June 17, 2005

It’s clear from the outset that Some Cities is different than Doves’ previous records. Jez Williams’ sweeping, atmospheric guitar textures sound more contained, as if he’s playing in a room instead of standing on a mountain top—and that’s not a welcome development in my book, as that top-of-the-world-in-wide-open-spaces feeling is the thing I dig most about Doves. The good news is that the songs are great, and as the record progresses, Williams delivers more and more of his trademark textural approach, beginning with the epic and glorious “Almost Forgot Myself,” and peaking on the soaring “Snowden,” which is a striking tribute to an actual mountain, complete with delay-drenched cries, driving acoustics, and thunderous distortion crashes. Anyone looking for music in the Coldplay, Flaming Lips, Moody Blues vein—but with more guitars—will dig Doves’ latest. Warning: Don’t simply download a few cuts from the album. Some Cities is a stellar artistic statement that flows and recedes in true album-rock style. (Capitol) —Jimmy Leslie

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