The Universal Want by Doves [7/10]

The Universal Want” leapt out of the past, only the fifth album by a revered trio and their first output in over a decade. And immediately, it’s the sound, that hyper-produced, studio-glistening aural combination, that is recognizable. When the opening track of “Carousels” pauses from its pompous, backbeat-led verse to announce the chorus of “Oh, I’m going to take you down,” the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. Such a classy presentation! Such dread in a single line! Singer Jimi Goodwin’s world-weary, sighing voice has lost none of its brilliance and the playing and production are immaculate, so it is the songs that have to judged, and on The Universal Want, the tunes are excellent, not transcendent but excellent and melodic, and hey, what more can we ask for? “For Tomorrow” sounds like a Coronavirus prayer and pledge, “Cathedrals of the Mind” is a weary gem, and the title track is a five-minute opus that begins strummed and small and ends huge and profound, before Radiohead’ing out. There’s nigh a wasted moment on The Universal Want.

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