The Doves' first two albums, "Lost Souls" and "The Last Broadcast," were critically acclaimed, yet the Manchester, England, band never fully caught on stateside.

The Doves' first two albums, "Lost Souls" and "The Last Broadcast," were critically acclaimed, yet the Manchester, England, band never fully caught on stateside. Perhaps as a result, third album "Some Cities" is less epic, but no less important, than its predecessors. This time, the songs are shorter, with more of a live feel to them. The subtle electronics the band uses are mostly jettisoned for orchestral instruments and female backing vocals. And the Doves' '60s soul influences are more apparent than ever, especially on the rollicking, piano-driven first single, "Black and White Town," and the title track. The closest the band comes to approximating its previous work is "Walk in Fire." "Some Cities" debuted at No. 1 in the United Kingdom, and while the album is unlikely to behave similarly in the United States, it should be on the must-hear lists of discerning modern rock programmers and music fans alike.—BT