For those who adored the lush textures of Doves' second album, The Last Broadcast, the seriousness of Some Cities might be a bit jarring. The ambitious indie rock trio is much more direct and exact this time out, and it's a great shift in style. In contrast to this opus, optimism ruled on The Last Broadcast, which soared with a majestic celestial setting of bright choruses, vibrant electronic beats, and gushing guitar riffs. Some Cities percolates with more of a hopeful but grounded spirit, an English spirit. The band's native Manchester comes into view. Shades of ash and cinder surround Doves' guitar flow, but without melancholy. The album's title track captures that with vocalist/guitarist Jimi Goodwin's earnest plea, "Some cities crush/Some cities heal/Some cities laugh/While other cities steal/Can't I make you see?" Pianos and drums run parallel on "Black and White Town" and match the adrenaline and motion of "There Goes the Fear." Only two songs in, the band's soft dreamy focus turns into complex emotion, and it's beautifully done. Both the sweeping acoustic guitars of "Someday Soon" and the symphonic lament "The Storm" continue the cinematic slow burn of Some Cities, reflecting upon a cloudy countryside. Escaping the dreariness of Manchester is what fueled Doves to start a band in the first place. Some Cities isn't a Mancunian downer. It's very real and Doves' best yet.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson