So since and I’ll mention the D word early on Doves went on ‘hiatus’ in 2010 to do their own things musically we had to wait nigh on four years for Jimi Goodwin to release his solo effort last year Oduldek which was a solid album and now after they dabbled with a project called Raized By Wolves Jez and Andy Williams (the other two) have released an album as Black Rivers.
The albums opener Diamond Days sets the tone in a dreamy summer tune sort of vibe, imagine driving the car, top down on some twisty road in the mountains or down along the coast with the wind in your hair (if you still have it!) and you’ll get my drift. I’ll mention Doves again as those themes and that sound was what was great about their music and it’s a theme throughout this album.
The next song The Ship takes you back to the Hacienda days from where they came with its pounding drumbeat and electro sound it would easily fit at an Ibiza club no bother. Things then slip back on track three The Forest has a more chilled out vibe/psychedelic feel with dreamy sounds and vocals and a bit of a northern soul twinge to these ears at least.
Then we’re back to another Hac/Ibiza tune with Voyager 1, this one takes me back to those days where Doves came from and is a highlight of the album. There is definitely a heavy Kraftwerk influence on this track.
A swift instrumental noodling Beyond The Pines is miss able and a waste of a minute on the album. The Wind That Shakes The Barley, having seen it live it came across better than the album version but it’s still good and has echoes of The Cedar Room from days of old.
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Age Of Innocence harks back to Sub Sub days with a catchy drumbeat all the way through and continues the late 80’s Manchester scene house sound. The Coral Sea oddly enough echoes the title as it does sound a lot like Liverpool band The Coral, flamenco guitars and sea shanties sort of sound on this which then goes into the closing track Deep Rivers Run Quiet. It’s a quiet and sombre end to the album but fits in really a sort of 4 am come down song after a nights dancing on whichever Northern or Ibiza dance floor you’ve been at. Moody and some rather lovely piano playing and Jez’s best vocal on the whole album.
Black Rivers is an album that has all of the influences that inspired Doves, You could easily put Jimi Goodwins vocals to this and it would have been Doves comeback album and that is my only criticism Jez’s vocals are an ok effort but it’s not Jimi. But anyway leave that aside and it’s a fine album musically and well worth a spin.