Veritas Est Rock

Brad Lindert

Considering that my rock column, now in its fourth installment, is just now beginning to find its niche in the crowded pages of the Lawrentian, it seems natural that during these awkward adolescent printings I would choose to explore new avenues through which to define myself as a rock columnist. I don’t want this space to be wasted on music that is too inaccessible or that will make Annicka Campbell think I’m cool. I am here simply to lend my musical sense and suggest music that is worth your precious time to listen to.
That being said, my choice of topic this week is not extremely hip or underground, but noteworthy to say the least. As three middle-aged rockers from Manchester England, The Doves have managed to score huge success without losing their indie appeal, regardless of how founded this label may be. Nonetheless, despite their growing fan base, The Doves have always been a band that just couldn’t quite keep it up as far as I was concerned. They simply didn’t have solid albums to back up their occasional good song. This considered, their new album, entitled “Some Cities,” is a significant achievement, and a great find for any fan – shameless, reluctant, or in denial – of the kind of pop-rock that just pushes all the right buttons.
“Some Cities” has a sophisticated catchiness to it that seems to possess more substance than the typical pop song charm. The hooks on the album are more than just musical catch phrases, but smooth-flowing melodies emerging from the lush textures that make the music seem larger than life. Much of this is attributed to the brilliant production on the album, which is at many points reminiscent of the studio magic that made The Flaming Lip’s “The Soft Bulletin” such a landmark album. Studio production, a tool often used by bad musicians to make up for their lack of creativity, can be just as expressive and personal as one’s playing on an instrument when used with some sound artistic discernment, and this is truly the case with “Some Cities.”
At the risk of sounding too analytical, the vocals seem to put forth a comforting sense of self-awareness that makes the lyrics “safe” to sing along to. They’ve managed to avoid being too sappy, without burying any semblance of meaning beneath overtly ironic quips. Ultimately every song on “Some Cities” has a unique character to it and yet they all fit together. Between the driving rock beats on the first tracks to the slow-swelling strings on the closer, the album moves through an array of feels and grooves with a remarkable flow and unity.
So there was my attempt to reach out. Next week I’ll go back to reviewing So-And-So’s band’s side projects twice-removed, I promise.