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The Last Broadcast

Doves

Release Date: 04.29.02
Record label: Heavenly
Genre(s): Rock

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by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent


The difficult second album, the terrible twos, the over-hyped follow-up. Whatever you want to call this common and notorious condition, Doves have been struck down with a bad dose.


The Last Broadcast is the highly anticipated album intended to build on the extraordinarily strong foundations cemented by Lost Souls. But we were expecting too much. The Last Broadcast is an uninspiring album that should cut short the critical hysteria Doves created and leave the jury still out deliberating on whether we are listening to a classic act.

On first listening, the new album is dull, dirgey, emotionless and benefits from only a couple of bright moments in a cloudy, confused setting. The cover sums it up perfectly; showing the city plagued by a dark, dull sky and the sun itself poking through-but only just. The new single "There Goes The Fear" summed up the hype and anticipation by entering the charts at number three (UK) when their previous best had been number 32 with both "Catch The Sun" and "The Man Who Told Everything." But there are also conclusions to be drawn from the way it crashed to number 34 on Sunday.

To be fair "There Goes The Fear" is the peak of the album, providing a pop-laden moment complete with catchy chorus and a Latino drum finish. For further listening check out the powerful and raw "N.Y." spouting New York influenced lyrics and the titular "Last Broadcast," which like "There Goes The Fear" provides memorable tune and guitars. But coming after the promise of the Mercury Prize nominated Lost Souls, I could not help but be disappointed by The Last Broadcast.

And I did give it chance.

I listened to it through a good ten times before writing this review and the second wave of worthwhile songs stood up and got counted but they were still not numerous enough to merit the attention that radio playlist makers may ensure this album gets.

"The Sulphur Man" is of slight interest for the way it ambles Coldplay style, and the finale of "Caught By The River" gets better with time and its near gospel interludes. The most interesting track is "M62 Song" which was recorded under the Northenden M62 flyover at Manchester in an eccentric move that I thought only Bjork would have thought of.

The popularity of Doves has not started to wilt, their support shows with Travis proving as strong as ever. But did fans expect more than has been delivered? Rather greedily, I suspect the answer is yes. 28-Apr-2002 7:36 PM