Heavenly – 2002 – 53 minutes
While you can expect to be burnt at the stake for saying it, there are those – myself included – who will risk the cinders and say that, right now, they prefer Doves' debut 'Lost Souls' to 'The Last Broadcast'. It's not that the songs aren't strong, it's not that Jimi Goodwin and the Williams Brothers don't sound like they mean it, it's not that the playing is anything less than stellar, it's just that, to these ears, Doves' sound has got a whole lot bigger and it seems that some magic went missing along the way.
Listening to the likes of 'Melody Calls' and 'Fioresuite' from the first album, you were transported to a world of noirish ambience, but a world that somehow seemed just outside your window. With 'The Last Broadcast' you see stadiums in your head as the likes of 'Satellites' and 'Words' go mega-platinum on the competition. There are moments where the intimacy shines through, among them 'M25 Song', 'Friday's Dust' and the title track, but they're the staying-in songs whereas the others sound like going out ones.
This is a fine record and you can't see anyone stealing Doves' thunder this year. And while 'The Last Broadcast' will probably lead to furious anorak discussions about whether Doves are or aren't the future of British music, everyone will be able to agree that this is an album with a very big heart. It's just that some of us can't throw both our arms around it – yet.
Tracklisting: Intro - Words - There Goes the Fear - M25 Song - Where We're Calling From - Satellites - Friday's Dust - Pounding - Last Broadcast - The Sulphur Man - Caught By the River