What a great week for new releases. There are so many titles I'd like to discuss at length but there just isn't time to hit them all, so let me throw a couple quickies at you before we get down to business. The first the Iron Man 2 soundtrack, acting as a would-be AC/DC compilation.
From that same vein, we have :: wait for it :: new music from Ratt! No, I'm not kidding. It's their first new album in a decade and from what I've read about this, they've changed absolutely nothing about their sound. No, I'm not kidding. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? You decide.
We've also got the third album from Boston-based guitarist Julien Kasper, Groove Trance. Now, onto the titles I want to discuss at greater length...
The Places Between: The Best Of Doves
Have Manchester's Doves come to the end of the road? They say no and I hope that's true. This trio seemed to come from out of nowhere and became one of my favorite bands of the past decade. Their blend of ambient soundscapes, driving rock, and power pop really struck a chord with me. I learned about them reading NME online and I clicked off a few sample tracks on Amazon. The soundclip that sold me was "Words" from The Last Broadcast. I bought it immediately and since then I've tried to collect their B-sides and rarities as well as keeping up with their LPs.
The Places Between is a 2CD/1DVD retrospective retracing the band's steps from their 2000 debut Lost Souls through last year's Kingdom of Rust. The first disc collects most of the songs released as singles, presenting a nice summary of the band's work. Superfans like myself will always quibble with the tracklisting but compilations are rarely aimed at the fanboys. Some of my favorite Doves songs are on that first disc so it's not the worst introduction to the band.
Where things get interesting and turn more towards the diehards is the second disc, gathering a number of B-sides and other rarities. There are some great songs on that disc. I know. I already have them, and not just because I imported some of the British singles. They released a rarities set after The Last Broadcast called Lost Sides and some of these tracks are repeated here. That's a shame. If they're trying to hook the fanboys who already have everything on disc one, they shouldn't be picking up repeats on the bonus disc as well. Having said that, there are some new-to-me titles on Disc 2, so I bought it. The other present to diehards is the DVD collecting 13 of the band's video, several presented in 5.1 and stereo mixes.