Lost Sides

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Released as a promotional vehicle for Lost Souls by Heavenly in a run of only 1,250 copies, Lost Sides collects 12 songs that didn't make it onto Doves' debut album. All of the songs on the collection would see release across the various singles extracted from Lost Souls. Unlike many a Brit-pop B-side collection, Lost Sides doesn't really work that well as a cohesive whole. Some of the songs are variations on album cuts, others kind of meander in stifled or dated grooves, and two or three tracks are obvious throwaways. But enough charm peaks out of the corners to elevate a number of the songs and make Lost Sides or the singles worthwhile. The bombastic anthemic rock of "Darker" sees Doves at their most aggressive, experimenting with vibes reminiscent of Talk Talk. These vibes continue on "Meet Me at the Pier," as edgy guitar jabs contrast most pleasantly with Jimi Goodwin's sweet humming. "Valley" and "Your Shadow Lay Across My Life" both would have been fine fits on Lost Souls, as both songs feature the band's trademark swirling bombast and strong melodies. Perhaps best of all, and not really indicative of the band's usual sonic territory, is "Acoustic No. 1," which features dynamic chugging acoustic guitars that simply and delightfully embed themselves into one's brain for the remainder of the day. Lost Sides certainly isn't essential listening for casual fans, and even hardcore fans won't be that impressed, since nothing to be found here represents the band at the top of its game. But the collection is pleasant enough while it lasts.

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