Some Cities

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Some Cities
Studio album by Doves
Released February 21, 2005 (2005-02-21)
(see release history)
Recorded 2004-2005
Genre Indie rock
Length 46:50
Language English
Label Heavenly Records
Producer Doves and Ben Hillier
Doves chronology
Lost Sides
(2003)
Some Cities
(2005)
Kingdom of Rust
(2009)
Singles from Some Cities
  1. "Black and White Town"
    Released: 7 February 2005
  2. "Snowden"
    Released: 9 May 2005
  3. "Sky Starts Falling"
    Released: 12 September 2005

Some Cities is the third studio album by the British indie rock band Doves. The album was released by Heavenly Records on 21 February 2005, and became the band's second consecutive album to top the UK Albums Chart at number 1. Some Cities was conceived as a rawer, stripped-down record, and conceptually touches upon the physical changes of the band's hometown of Manchester, as well as emotional transformations. The album features the band's second-highest charting single, "Black and White Town", which peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart.

Background and recording[edit]

After the worldwide success of Doves' second album The Last Broadcast, Jez Williams recalled, in a 2010 interview with Under the Radar following the release of the band's compilation album The Places Between: The Best of Doves, that the band decided to take a more "stripped-down" approach to recording Some Cities, which included decamping to rural locations in England, Scotland, and Wales. "With that album we were also wanting to make a few social comments about the area we lived in. There's a lot of subject matter on that album dealing with change. Buildings get ripped down and replaced by more generic ones. It kind of gave ourselves a bit of purpose to write about it. We also listened to a lot of Motown and Northern soul, and I think that came out in that album. It was a definite change. Our albums do tend to change character and personality with every release."[1] The band co-produced Some Cities with Ben Hillier, who also mixed the album (except for "Some Cities" and "Walk in Fire", which were mixed by Rich Costey). Much of the recording occurred at a farmhouse in the English countryside over the course of 2004, except for closing track "Ambition", which was recorded in an empty Benedictine monastery in Scotland, which the band had found while doing a photo shoot for the album. The huge reverb effect was achieved using the acoustics of the main hall. The recording process is shown in the mini-documentary Cities Under Construction, featured on the bonus DVD included with the special edition of the album.

In a 2010 interview with Spinner.com, Jimi Goodwin stated, "I look back fondly at the Some Cities period, going to this old schoolhouse in Scotland with Ben Nevis out the window. I spent six weeks up there and didn't want to come home; my mum had just died and I just wanted to be away."[2]

Release[edit]

Some Cities was released in the United Kingdom on 21 February 2005, where it entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1.[3] The album was released on several different formats in the UK: the standard CD and double 12" vinyl LP, and also as a special edition with a bonus DVD containing a short documentary entitled Cities Under Construction, featuring the making of the album inside a purple-coloured digipak.[4] In addition, a limited edition version, packaged inside a hessian cloth-covered box with fold-out poster and bonus DVD, was also released.[5] The album was released in Japan on 23 February 2005 and included two bonus tracks, "Eleven Miles Out" and "At the Tower" (which had been released as B-sides to "Black and White Town"). On 1 March 2005, the album was released in North America by Capitol Records.

In late December 2004, the album's first single "Black and White Town" was issued to radio stations; two weeks prior to the album's release, the single was released commercially and entered the UK Singles Chart at number 6,[3] the band's second-highest charting single to date. In May 2005, the album's second single "Snowden" was released and peaked at number 17.[3] The third and final single "Sky Starts Falling" was released in September 2005 and peaked at number 45.[3] Throughout 2005, Doves rigorously toured the world, including England, the United States, and Australia;[6] in April 2006, a special download-only EP entitled Some Cities Live EP, featuring select recordings from various dates on the Some Cities tour, was released to online digital outlets.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[8]
Drowned in Sound (9/10)[9]
Entertainment Weekly A−[10]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[11]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[12]
PopMatters (7/10)[13]
Q 4/5 stars[14]
Stylus Magazine D+[15]
Uncut 4/5 stars[16]

Some Cities was released to generally positive reviews. Drowned in Sound awarded the album a 9 out of 10 rating, saying, "Though it may be gentle and frequently maudlin, it is no doubt a release to spend 50 minutes with this record. Some Cities may not be a summer record, but it might quite possibly be the record that gets you through it."[9] MusicOMH praised the album, calling it "an ethereal outpouring of emotion; melancholic madness meeting soul-soaring serendipity head on," and noted that, "Gone is the prog-like polished production of The Last Broadcast, it's more akin to debut Lost Souls in timbre. Yet while those were records that sounded like they were conceived in wide open countryside or of the rolling sea this is an ode to the industrial heartland of their childhood; at turns crunching and urban, desolate and apocalyptic."[17] Pitchfork Media gave Some Cities a 7.8 out of 10 rating, and concluded that, "In the three years since Last Broadcast, Doves have cultivated a better understanding of their strengths and limitations, and Some Cities beams with a revivified looseness."[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Jez Williams, Jimi Goodwin, and Andy Williams, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Some Cities"     3:22
2. "Black and White Town"     4:15
3. "Almost Forgot Myself"     4:42
4. "Snowden"     4:12
5. "The Storm"   Williams, Goodwin, Williams, Sakamoto 4:52
6. "Walk in Fire"     5:34
7. "One of These Days"     4:50
8. "Someday Soon"     4:08
9. "Shadows of Salford"     2:44
10. "Sky Starts Falling"     4:11
11. "Ambition"     4:00

Bonus DVD[edit]

  1. Cities Under Construction – a short film
  2. Photo gallery (set to an instrumental version of "Ambition")
  3. "Black and White Town" video (director's cut, directed by Lynne Ramsay)

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom 21 February 2005 Heavenly Records CD HVNLP50CD
Special edition CD/DVD in purple digipak HVNLP50CDS
Limited edition CD/DVD in hessian cloth-covered box HVNLP50CDX
Double LP (heavyweight vinyl; gatefold sleeve) HVNLP50
Japan 23 February 2005 Toshiba-EMI CD (2 bonus tracks) TOCP-66327
United States 1 March 2005 Capitol Records/EMI CD 724387460928

Credits[edit]

  • Produced by Doves and Ben Hillier.
  • Mixed by Ben Hillier and Doves, except "Some Cities" and "Walk in Fire" mixed by Rich Costey.
  • Recorded and mixed at: Moolah Rouge, Rockport, Manchester; Parr Street Studios, Liverpool; The Old School House, Fort Augustus; Fort Augustus Abbey; 2 kHz, Shepherds Bush; The Dairy, Brixton; Angel Studios; Whitfield Street Studios, Soho; Panarific; and Andy's house.
  • All vocals and instruments by Doves.
  • Engineering and programming by Ben Hillier and Richard Morris.
  • Andrea Wright – assistant engineer.
  • Engineering at 2 kHz by Dan Austin.
  • "The Storm" contains elements from the Snake Eyes score, composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
  • Debris wording by Doves, Jemma Kennedy, and Rick Myers.

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Ben Hillier – percussion on "Some Cities," glockenspiel on "Snowden," and piano and percussion on "The Storm"
  • Guy Garvey – backing vocals on "Almost Forgot Myself" and "Snowden"
  • Strings on "Snowden" and "The Storm" performed by Millennia Strings; arranged by Ian Burdge, contracted by Jonathan Brigden at Knifedge
  • Andrea Wright – additional footsteps and street noise on "The Storm"
  • Janet Remus – backing vocals on "Walk in Fire"
  • Martin Rebelski – piano on "Black and White Town," and accordion on "Shadows of Salford"

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[3] 1
Irish Albums Chart[18] 2
Australian Albums Chart[19] 23
Belgium Ultratop[20] 45
MegaCharts Netherlands[21] 62
US Billboard 200[22] 111
French Chart[23] 149
Japan Oricon[24] 149
Preceded by
Scissor Sisters by Scissor Sisters
UK number one album
6 March 2005 – 12 March 2005
Succeeded by
G4 by G4

References[edit]

  1. ^ Davis, Hays. "Doves: This Bird Has Flown". Under the Radar (magazine). 
  2. ^ Mugan, Chris. "Doves Wipe the Slate Clean With Best-Of". Spinner.com. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Doves - Chart Stats
  4. ^ Doves - Some Cities (Special Edition) (CD, Album + DVD-V, PAL) at Discogs
  5. ^ Doves - Some Cities (Special Limited Edition) (CD, Album + DVD-V + Box, Ltd) at Discogs
  6. ^ Doves - Gigography 2005
  7. ^ "Doves: Some Cities (2005): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "Some Cities - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Annot, Michaela (22 February 2005). "Doves - Some Cities - Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Entertainment Weekly, 4 March 2005 issue, p.73
  11. ^ Clarke, Betty (18 February 2005). "CD: Doves, Some Cities - Music - The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  12. ^ a b Ubl, Sam (28 February 2005). "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Doves: Some Cities". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  13. ^ Begrand, Adrien (1 March 2005). "Doves: Some Cities - PopMatters Music Review". PopMatters. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  14. ^ Q magazine, March 2005 issue, p.97
  15. ^ Mathers, Ian (1 March 2005). "Doves - Some Cities - Review - Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  16. ^ Uncut magazine, March 2005 issue, p.94
  17. ^ Turner, Catherine. "Doves - Some Cities - album reviews - musicOMH". MusicOMH. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  18. ^ irishcharts.com - Discography Doves
  19. ^ Australian Charts - Doves
  20. ^ ultratop.be - Doves
  21. ^ Dutch Charts - Doves
  22. ^ Billboard - Artist Chart History - Doves
  23. ^ lescharts.com - Discographie Doves
  24. ^ oricon.co.jp - Doves