Corporate Line: The critically acclaimed and beloved British trio Doves return with their first album in four years, “Kingdom of Rust.” Comprised of brothers Jez and Andy Williams, and Jimi Goodwin, the trio has been recording the album for the past 18 months, having ensconced themselves to a farm house-come-studio in backwaters of Cheshire, England. They teamed up with long time Doves collaborator Dan Austin to co-produce all but 2 tracks of Kingdom Of Rust. For the remaining 2 tracks; “10.03” and “Winter Hill,” the group worked with ace producer John Leckie (Stone Roses,Radiohead).
The single “Kingdom of Rust”, lands in the broodier atmospherics of Lost Souls, strapped with a Johnny Cash bassline; “Jetstream” is a stomping Doves classic in waiting, fitted with a propulsive krautrock motorik, it inherits the bands dance DNA from their former Sub Sub extraction, with other searing standouts (“Greatest Denier”, “Lifeline”) rounding out this career defining album.
“Jetstream” – An interesting track that is part rock and part Kraftwerk. The interesting thing is that it doesn’t sound unique.
“Kingdom of Rust” – To come right off “Jetstream” into this track, which is more country than anything else, is a bit bizarre. Frankly, I’d rather hear the Doves doing these types of tracks rather than the prior. It fits them a lot better and it’s far better.
“The Outsiders” – This is a typical rock song. Seems the Doves decided to release a track that might be a bit more radio friendly.
“Winter Hill” – Another track that sounds written for the radio and at trying their best at producing an anthem. It doesn’t miss the boat entirely. It’s lovely just not inspiring.
“10:03” – Gloomy and sad and yet it sounds something like a spiritual track that should make us feel okay. It’s a bit confusing. And yet its quite good.
“The Greatest Denier” – Skip it. There’s nothing interesting here other than the Rolling Stone-esque instrumentation.
“Birds Flew Backwards” – This is a pretty song that sounds like they’ve been listening to a lot of the Beach Boys experimental albums. The only problem is that it sounds lyrically empty.
“Spellbound” – Forgettable.
“Compulsion” – The fact that it reminds me of disco and Duran Duran doesn’t bode well.
“House of Mirrors” – Again, this sounds like Duran Duran from the ‘80s. I can’t get into it at all.
“Lifelines” – This is strictly leftovers.
The Doves get the best out of their first five songs and then offer up some average songs after that. It’s hard to proclaim this a must buy album when you can download the first few songs and get the best there is to offer.
The other issue with the album is too eclectic. They go from techno to country to spiritual to disco. I’d love to see them stick to one style and give it their best. If this would have been more like the title track, “Kingdom of Rust,” from beginning to end it would have been a home run.