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Doves – The Universal Want

After over a decade from their last studio release Doves are back and just as the track Prisoners says “Hello old friend, it’s me again” let’s do what we often do when we haven’t seen someone in ages, let’s go to the Pub…

We’re in The Cedar Tree perusing the beer list with plenty of mouth watering options, what’s this, Old Peculiar from the wood? Let’s kick off with this. This as an opener (Carousels) is as wonderful as you’ve remembered it being, it’s a familiar taste but being matured in the wood it has added a glorious edge to it that only being in the company of an old friend who’s lost none of their charm can bring.

Time for something a bit lighter on the buds, how about a Tramshed from Salt Brewery, (I Will Not Hide). Nice, cold and fizzy from the keg, upbeat and not only lightly dancing on your tongue with delicious flavour but hiding a hidden strength, a medley of ingredients complementing each other something a master of their craft takes years to produce.

Got a taste of the hoppy stuff so its onto a Pliny the Elder (Broken Eyes) strong but incredibly easy drinker, you know you could return to over and over it’s perky flavours hitting you with every mouthful but you know better than to have too many, there’s something that reminds you of the great times together happening here, like dancing in the rain in front of the stage at the Etihad in a massive puddle for instance.

Things are starting to become a little nice and hazy now because of a few early big hitters so let’s go for a Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Stout (For Tomorrow), a lighter version of a stout, but we’re getting all the flavour and tones of a big hitter but in a more manageable level, a great one for enjoying on even the hottest days sat out in a field somewhere.

Change of scene so let’s have a big hitting sipper, Kees Salted Caramel Russian Imperial Stout, (Cathedrals Of My Mind). Things are starting getting really mellow, the warmth washes over your body, every sip delivering something delightful, everything is happy and contentful and time seems to be running away from you as you’re enjoying a wonderful moment together that you didn’t think would happen again, this is one of my favorites of a favorite style and it is delivering in droves.

Whoa, are we drunk or just drunk in the moment, back to another hoppy hitter to liven the mood and onto a Cloudwater Scabrous Edge IPA to get us back in the room, (Prisoners). Sharp with a smooth peachyness about it, it’s something to smash or savour in parts. The day is up there with the best of days, everything is feeling natural, no awkwardness from lost time and we’re in the best of company.

Let’s grab something tart or sour to continue the lively taste (Cycle Of Hurt) Rubarbra Streisand from Brew York fits the bill, fruity hits, sharp bits, lingering tones giving you the best of many world’s for your senses to enjoy, Bloody hell is that the time already, it’s getting late and the days flown by as it tends to do in the bestest of company, sod it – grab a bottle of Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout (Mother Siverlake), cold to the touch fresh out of the fridge so the tastes are intially crisp with a very slight tang of bitterness to start with which then melts into a wonderful smooth mellowness as the beer warms in your hands, this day has been truly tremendous.

Before you know it you’re on the train back to your hometown now (Universal Want), there’s a joyous feeling of the day spent playing along here, your semi consciousness is drifting in and out of blissful dreams along with the happyness of having been in the reality of spending some time once again with someone you feared was long gone from your life, it’s evoking previous memories together that make you smile.

(Forest House), happy and contentfulness is flowing through this moment as you fumble your keys in the door before putting the takeaway you picked up enroute down and trying with both hands to guide it into the hole, a huge smile on your face as the door swings open you stagger in and fall straight onto the couch happy, heart filled with love over the days proceedings.

The Universal Want is nothing but a triumphant return from Doves, there’s an effortless feel throughout the album lacking in the previous studio album, Kingdom Of Rust (no bad album in itself but you could sort of get the tension in the studio coming through the album). If this is what 10 years apart can do for a band then there’s a lot of bands I would happily offer the same advice to, if you’re a Doves fan I doubt there’s a single track on this album you’ll want to skip and if your just curious about the band not knowing a great deal about them then this is a wonderful introduction The boys may have mellowed somewhat over the past decade but the end result is up there with the best they have previously produced – the incredibly long wait has been well worth it!