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56
4.3 out of 5 stars
Kingdom of Rust
Format: Audio CDChange
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2010
Such a great album with Doves back on form with some great songs on this album. It begins on a high for a bunch of killer songs, mellows out with some growers which will hook you in with a few listens, and then comes back for a third section which is different again. Standout track has to be Winter Hill which I just love. Wonderful guitar work throughout which is such a joy to follow. Well put together running order and made for the car in the same way as any Swervedriver album, which is probably just as well: the sound quality!

Such a shame that great songs are let down by shockingly bad recording and hideous compression on this CD. It's bad enough in the car but take it home and play it on a decent system and it just sounds as if my younger brother recorded it on his 20 year old broken portable Walkman! Because the songs are so good I was up for buying it on vinyl too, but figured in the end that as the recording quality was so bad it just wouldn't be worth it. If the market is going to dumb-down and compress for MP3 entirely, then I may as well just give up buying CDs, because this really is pants. I wouldn't care if I didn't care.

The music gets 5 stars, but because the package is flawed by the sound, it's lost a star.

If you can get past that, it's maybe their best album to date.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Doves have always felt a little like Elbow's extrovert alter ego; a band happier being at the heart of the maelstrom than contemplating its hung-over afterglow. Whereas Elbow can be characterised more by their cap-in-hand romanticism, Doves have always been better suited to the role of escapists. For Elbow's unabashed honesty, Doves respond in kind with vistas of widescreen imagery. While neither band would claim to represent Madchester's new dawn, both are true products of the city: equal parts self-effacing and brazen.

Bury's finest produce their best when they transplant the region's deadpan wit and warmth into their songs. Doves, on the other hand, tend to concentrate on Manchester's sense of defiance - something rooted in its urban ghettos and marked by the regular occurrence of excitable terrace anthems (Catch the Sun, There Goes The Fear, Pounding, Black And White Town). Though Mancunians would always emphasise the humility of their beloved city, ambition and fearlessness mark it and its music. From the seven-minute, effects-strewn epic to the casual inclusion of a full orchestra, neither band - like the city that bred them - is afraid of pulling punches.

With Kingdom Of Rust, Doves have spent a great deal of time (four years, in fact) holed up in training. As they confidently re-enter the ring as strutting light-heavyweights, they will be keen to dispel any accusations of ring rustiness. In many ways, Kingdom Of Rust feels like Doves might be trying to prove a point. Last Broadcast and Some Cities were both strong albums, challenging enough to be interesting over the long term and speckled with some stellar pop songs. Kingdom Of Rust focuses less on the charts and more on the reinvention of Doves. This is a band with no intention of quietly disappearing into the ether quite yet.

Perhaps reinvention is too strong a term but there can be no doubt that Kingdom Of Rust is leaner and more pumped up than previous efforts. People who have recently grown into Doves may have trouble acclimatising to the new album. Its layering is arguably more indulgent, its melodies are subtle and the whole thing seems less benign than its more immediately satisfying predecessors. If anything, Kingdom of Rust's sweet spots are much harder to discern. It is pretty clear that Doves have spent the extra time working hard to reward its audience in a new way. Like true Mancunians, they make you wait four years and then they have the temerity to ask that you to commit to repeat listens. Luckily, Kingdom Of Rust just keeps getting better with time.

Doves still like to set their sights on larger-than-life subject matter. Even the album's song titles speak of jetstreams, kingdoms, lifelines and being spellbound. Like previous albums, Kingdom Of Rust is quite happy tackling life's extremities. As inane as the idea of singing about a jetstream would appear to be, it doesn't prevent Doves from creating a barnstorming album opener, replete with Chemical Brothers-light electro meddling, swooping flange effects and a steady crescendo that constantly reignites like it were conceived on the shores of Cape Canaveral. The Outsiders bears all the bristling angst of BRMC's Whatever Happened To My Rock And Roll and 10:03's monstrous middle riff - lifted straight out of John Squire's Led Zep book - pounds itself through your floorboards, indiscriminately. The Greatest Denier is, put simply, a four-minute shot of something massively potent.

Doves are able to counter this widespread hysteria with beautifully measured moments such as the album's title track. Kingdom Of Rust's quiet highlight features brushstrokes, xylophones, strings and an illustration of Doves' comfortable grasp of pathos: "blackbirds flew in and to the cooling towers / I'll pack my bags / thinking of one of those hours with you / waiting for you". Aside from the occasional maudlin lull, Kingdom Of Rust prefers to spend its time drifting in and out of a dreamy state of schizophrenia, with very few pauses for breath.

Compulsion is easily the album's biggest surprise. It may have taken four albums and countless years but here is a Doves track you can legitimately shake your hips too - and it works an absolute treat. Borrowing heavily from Blondie's Rapture, its knowingly hip, libidinous baseline and massively reverbed riffage create something of a nympho-infested oasis amid the album's urban landscape of skyscrapers and football stadiums.

With the album's lyrics and song meanings often totally shrouded by a dense nebula of sound, you are often left to simply swoon over Kingdom Of Rust's beautiful and frequently electrifying chord progressions. Its blanketing melodies and unrelenting energy will hit you first, but then that has always separated them from their mates in Bury. Although Elbow are able to put far greater emphasis on Guy Garvey's angelic vocal talents, Doves are fully aware of their strengths and so is Kingdom Of Rust. Even if the album loses its way with its final two tracks, you are left so exhausted by this stage that it almost comes with a sense of relief. By reinventing what they do best, Doves have fearlessly strutted back onto everyone's radar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2009
The Doves are a quality band and I was so looking foward to this release, more so than anything for a long time. The first listen didn't strike me as one of their better albums as there are not any stand out tracks. However after a few plays the penny dropped. You need to immerse yourself in the music to truly apprecuate what a well crafted album this is. For me they have written a magnificent series of songs and stayed true to themselves. It will be a sad day if they ever sell their soles for commercial success. Only slight critisim is that it is very similar to their other stuff which you could argue is no bad thing. For that reason I have given "Kingdom of Rust" 4* plus I like "The Last Broadcast" more
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2009
This album is a far better piece of work than most of the reviews. I've never come across the Doves before so this album has come out of the blue to me. I liked it on first play through and it's still finding favor.
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As a band, Doves are very unassuming. They shun the limelight, yet still command huge attendances at their gigs, and are big festival favourites. Kingdom Of Rust is their fourth studio album.

Listeners to older albums will know that Doves always start quite and build slowly. Jetstream is no different, as the quite beginnings open up into a wide panorama of techno, guitars, and wailing vocals. The title track, though, is half distinctive Doves with a chorus that could belong to no other band, and half Ghostriders in the Sky.

The Outsiders is a full rock out, but by this point I was a bit disappointed that the same stride hadn't been hit as in earlier albums. Winter Hill is another classic example of a beautifully crafted song, but the distinctive lead vocals are so recognisable that I wondered whether I'd hear it all before.

10:03 begins with a string quartet, which halfway completely changes into a distorted train ride of an instrumental, with screaming bass and thundering drums, before flipping back to complete what can only be described as "Extreme Sonata Form".

The trouble is that they've set their standards almost unattainably high. And while the sound is always original and distinctive, this album is a mixture of all the parts that have gone before. So while Doves will always stand out from the BritPop crowd, this album won't stand out from their repertoire.
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on 18 September 2014
I bought the CD just now, I am always late with "liking" music enough to buy the CD. All I can say is that it is so addictive. I just can't stop listening to it. There are two or three songs that really stick out, Kingdom of Rust of course, which is just eerie, Outsiders which is odd, I am nit sure about the lyrics, but I love the melody. And I am warming up to other songs the more I listen to the album. Somebody was saying that the music is depressing, I can't imagine why that would be. Some songs evoke feelings or memories all right, but I'd say that this is a trademark of really good music. If it doesn't do anything for me, I might as well give it a miss. The Doves always managed to send waves of chill down my spine. Some sounds, especially from the "Lost Souls" Album, evoke weird memories from my earliest childhood, which is strange, as their music was not around back then... So what, even if I have tears in my eyes from listening to their music, it is still better than most of the crap that's out there. So, full marks from me.
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on 29 May 2010
It is very rare that I bother to take the time to write reviews unless I really like something. I had heard the title track on the radio when it was released as a single and had gone straight home and played it constantly online. For some reason never got round to buying the album, then a friend bought it because I hadn't shut up about the single when it had come out. I don't own any of their other albums and was really surprised how much I loved this, I have played it constantly since I opened it the other day and like another reviewer stated I don't skip onto the next track. My only criticism and maybe this was a very deliberate choice of both the band's and their recording engineer, the vocals are rarely to the forefront and on some tracks feel a little drowned out by the music but who am I to judge what the artist created. I thoroughly recommend this, certain tracks feel like the are transporting you to other worlds almost like you at the movies. You'll see what I mean.
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on 28 February 2010
It took me until Christmas '09 to buy this, probably because of the heavy TV promotion meaning I got to hear Jetstream, Winter Hill and Kingdom of Rust multiple times.

On picking up the album Jetstream still stands out as a strong favourite track with its instrumental, electro-influenced guitar bridge, I pressed the back button and listened to this one all the time. Thankfully it didn't go downhill after having the first single as the second track.

After four albums though you know whether you like a band or not, so I'm happy that the rest of the album I didn't hear on TV is as good as I've come to expect from Doves, with their trademark guitars on Spellbound making that my second favourite track. Just have to go and see them live now!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2009
It's been a long 4 year wait since the last offering by Doves and I'm happy to report that it has certainly been worth the wait.
Kingdom of Rust sees Doves return with an utter epic album of eclectic tunes that takes you on a journey somehow perfectly painting a picture of the Northwest of England in a way that only Doves can do. I can hear so many influences in this album, the likes of Blondie, Bowie and the Clash to name but a few.
In my humble opinion this is Doves best album yet, surpassing the heights that The Last Broadcast reached. There is not one filler on this album. Personally, for me, Compulsion is the stand out track, that base riff is a killer..
For those of you already familiar with Doves you wont be disappointed. Those of you who aren't then go buy the album, you'll be hooked.
Around the same time last year Elbow released an album that ended with them getting the so richly deserved accolades they had been missing. One can only hope 2009 will prove to be Doves year..
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on 4 January 2010
Looking at a small selection of other reviews you could be forgiven for thinking Kingdom of Rust is a difficult listen. I'd have to disagree completely. However, I'm struggling to pinpoint what they've done so differently on this collection of songs - the instruments they play and the sounds produced are broadly similar to that on earlier recordings but the resultant tunes are, well, brilliant. Unfortunately words like 'brilliant' are not very helpful to those reading reviews to aid a purchasing decision. Buy this album if you like Doves' earlier work - you'll not be offended for this is indie at it's best.
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