Doves Kingdom of Rust

Doves have never made a bad album, and while they enjoyed steady interest since their debut, Lost Souls, they never experienced the ubiquity of turn-of-century contemporaries Coldplay. Both groups shared common points or reference but Doves were unable (or more likely, unwilling) to write stadium-filling anthems. But while Chris Martin and company painted themselves into a corner, Doves remained free to chart more far-flung sounds and structures, at least as far as Bends-era Radiohead aping goes. Kingdom of Rust sees the trio picking up where they left off four years ago, playing to their strengths of intricate arrangements and sweeping, melodic vocals. If Kingdom sounds less ambitious than its predecessors that's because the field the band operate in has become a lot more crowded than when they dropped high-watermark "There Goes the Fear" seven years ago. But long-time fans or even nubes shouldn't take that as their cue to ignore this record, as each track contains smaller movements, ensuring that there's something new to discover on each listen. The group continue to create a sound that belies the expectations of a three-piece band. By charting their own course in familiar waters, Doves remain a unique and exciting presence in pop music. (Astralwerks)