Top critical review
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Goodwin was superb in Doves, mediocre here
on 29 August 2014
Didsbury Girl is great, reminiscent of some of the best of Doves. Most of the rest is just not compelling, e.g. Oh Whiskey is over-rated and mediocre. If I want to hear melancholy folkish singer-songwriter material, I have much better choices available. If you want to hear what's possible with the Doves sound absent Goodwin, listen to the Ship single by Black Rivers, formed by the two other band members. The BR singing is not up to Goodwin's quality but the melody and driving beat is up with the best of their past releases. On the other hand, this seems to be a one-off. Their other tracks in live performances have been, yet again, mediocre, amateurish. As happens so often when bands split up for "creative" reasons, the sum of the parts rarely matches the whole. Doves were one of the best indie bands in the UK, easily the equal of say Elbow or Coldplay, and with more of an edge (except when their sound engineers managed to screw up some of their later live concerts to the point of making them un-listenable). On current evidence, whether you listen to Goodwin or Black Rivers, they were far better together than they are after the split, and I wouldn't buy an album from either of them.