The Last Broadcast

Just cuing up the neo-Floydian instrumental opener of the Doves' sophomore album leads one to expect The Last Broadcast to up the ante on the pensive ambient rock of the group's connoisseurs' favorite

Just cuing up the neo-Floydian instrumental opener of the Doves' sophomore album leads one to expect The Last Broadcast to up the ante on the pensive ambient rock of the group's connoisseurs' favorite from 2000, Lost Souls. Yet as "Words" kicks in and its tone of optimistic tunefulness continues, it is apparent that the Manchester, England, threesome has switched gears in favor of unabashed singalongs à la the pop ringer "Catch the Sun" from Lost Souls. The overall result lacks the ebony-hued cohesiveness and experimental flair of the debut set, but the hard-rock edge of "N.Y.," the house music-via-New Order rush of "Pounding," and the gloriously melodious Britpop of "Sulphur Man" are irresistibly creative and communicative. The Last Broadcast may not be the world-class second coming heralded by the typically hyperbolic British press, but it does reveal undeniable growth for one of the U.K.'s most promising rock bands.—BB