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Doves: 'Some Cities'

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

And from basketball to music, new music from the rock trio Doves. They're from Manchester, England. They've got a new release called "Some Cities." Music critic Christian Bordal has this review.

(Soundbite of "Storm")

DOVES: (Singing) You weathered the storm. You came out the other side. The place you were born is a place inside. Don't be sad it's...

CHRISTIAN BORDAL reporting:

Manchester lies at the heart of the industrial region in the center of England, an area known in the second half of the last century for its bleak industrial decay, high unemployment rates and dormant sooty brick smokestacks.

(Soundbite of instrumental portion of "Storm")

BORDAL: Manchester's also known for producing music to suit the scene, with darkly melancholic bands like Joy Division, later to become New Order after their lead singer committed suicide, and the smart gloom of The Smiths and their lead singer, Morrissey.

(Soundbite of "Storm")

DOVES: (Singing) The night you left the storm...

BORDAL: The band called Doves are inheritors of this landscape and shares with their fellow Mancunians, like Elbow, a kind of melancholic mist of reverb and swirling guitars and synths that's been described as dream pop or epic pop.

(Soundbite of music)

DOVES: (Singing) I've always known that she felt that way and had to start to show, driven you insane. I couldn't have tried but I can't 'cause you know it's so ...(unintelligible) music working for you, you ...(unintelligible).

BORDAL: Doves is made up of lead singer and bass player Jimi Goodwin and twins Andy and Jez Williams on drums and guitar. The trio started out doing dance-club pop under the name Sub Sub late in the rave days of Manchester's legendary Hacienda Club. They dropped Sub Sub in 1996 after a fire destroyed their studio and the tapes for an upcoming album.

(Soundbite of instrumental music)

BORDAL: The trio reunited as Doves, playing real instruments and channeling the dour '80s Manchester rock sound. On their third album, "Some Cities," the band sometimes shrugs off those dark, foggy swirls of sound, replacing them with a less layered, more direct and upbeat tone, like on the CD's first single, "Black and White Town."

(Soundbite of "Black and White Town")

DOVES: (Singing) You should follow me down in satellite towns. There...

BORDAL: As with many of the dream pop bands, it sometimes feels like Doves are all washy, thoughtful soundscape, and as you penetrate the overlapping musical layers, you find there's not much song at the center. But on this record, there are a number of strong songs and the band makes the most of them with some beautifully thoughtful arrangements.

(Soundbite of music)

CHADWICK: Music from Doves, from their latest CD "Some Cities," and thanks to DAY TO DAY music critic Christian Bordal.

(Soundbite of music)

CHADWICK: More coming on DAY TO DAY from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Christian Bordal
Christian Bordal is a Norwegian-American (via Australia) musician, radio producer, and freelance music journalist who contributes regularly to Day to Day. He's very good at making faces and making a fool of himself, and he once impressed his NPR editors with a drunken recitation of the gibberish poem "Jabberwocky." He briefly considered launching a career performing at children's parties, but he finds his own children to be trouble enough. In addition to this list of remarkable professional accomplishments, he is a producer at member station KCRW in Los Angeles.
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