If the new Doves record were a person, it would be your step-brother who rolls out of bed every day at 2 p.m., throws on yesterday’s clothes and lounges around the house in no particular hurry to go look for a job. In other words, it’s a lazy mess, which is a shame because Doves are capable of so much more.
On its fourth release, Kingdom of Rust, the band reneges on some of the promises made by its previous recordings – promises like: “We make good music.” Instead, Doves have recorded what often sounds like Coldplay castoffs but with barely audible vocals, a weak and monotonous guitar riff that appears on almost every track and melancholy overtones that could suck the energy out of the rowdiest frat party. Nearly all the songs blend into one another, with each being barely distinguishable from the first. It’s hard to know where this record begins and where it ends, and with nearly all songs clocking in at over four minutes, it gets old quickly.
But even with the general slack going on all over this album, there are a few numbers that show signs of life. Oddly enough, one of these songs is the semi-hopeful sounding final track. Too bad most of the record isn’t worth sitting through to get to it, although the vibe of this tune suggests Doves may still have in their hearts what made them good in the first place. Only the next record will tell.
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