Best albums of 2000: #1 Doves “Lost souls”

I started this series counting down my ten favourite albums of 2000 almost two years ago. Usually, when I start them, I bulldoze through the posts and get the series wrapped up in less than two months. And while I started this one as I normally would in the summer of 2021, my sense of urgency with the series tailed off to almost nothing and the drafts sat idle for many months in between, while I picked at them and glanced at them, while concentrating on other pieces. I decided this month, though, April 2023, it was way past time to wrap this one up.

Interestingly, when I started this series, Doves were very much a going concern. They had reunited after after a nine year absence in 2019, performed a string of successful shows, reissued their first three albums on vinyl (including this one), and released a brand new album called “The universal want” in 2020, which topped my list of albums for that year. Then, in October 2021, a few weeks after I posted the number four album in this series, Doves cancelled all the remaining dates in the tour that they were on, citing health concerns for their frontman, Jimi Goodwin. And while they haven’t officially disbanded, there has been little news since of any new activity.

For any of you not in the know, Doves are a Manchester, England-based trio that originally formed as a group called Sub Sub back in 1991. They had released a few house and dance type singles and were gearing up for something bigger when their studio burnt down in 1996. They re-emerged as Doves a couple of years later, with a new sound as well as a new name.

I didn’t hear their debut, “Lost souls”, when it was originally released. I only got into them a few years later with their sophomore release, “The last broadcast”, a story I’ve recounted before on these pages. My love for that album had me going back to discover the debut and fall for it just as hard. For me, it’s hard to pick a favourite from those first two records but I’d agree with the pundits that claim it as being possibly the best debut album since, “Definitely maybe”. “Lost souls” also did just as well commercially, hitting the UK album charts, three of its singles charted, and it was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, losing out to Badly Drawn Boy’s “The hour of the bewilderbeast”, an album on which Dove’s members also performed.

“Lost souls” is one of those albums that just screams out for a good pair of ear phones, a bit of dim lighting, perhaps candles scattered about the room, and some good wine to sip on. Though it could also just as easily be good company on a night drive on the highway, layers of beautiful sounds flying past alongside the blur of red taillights off in the distance. Doves’ music exist in its own plane, an environment of the band’s own making, each song a riddle to unwrap and savour. Two of the three picks I’ve selected for you below appeared in My Best Tunes of 2000 list when I counted that down in this blog’s early days and the other was one that I had to haggle my way to selecting from wealth of awesomeness on offer.

This is a great great album. But don’t take my word for it, listen to it yourself and thank me later.

“Melody calls”: “A melody calls. A setting sun, a melody calls. Time to lose myself again.” A haunting guitar line fades in across the land, drifting in upon the breeze from a circus being packed up from the other side of the plains. It is the sound of memory and sadness and is instantly recognizable as such. The trio then jump in together to create an ear worm that anyone would want to sing along with. There’s a lot of bah-bah-bahs, hand claps, foot stomps, glockenspiels, and of course, that instrument of forelorn wants and needs, the harmonica. It is three and half minutes of momentary light and joy in the middle of a dark and obscured world.

“Catch the sun“: (The following words are a sampling from the post on this song’s appearance at #10 on the list of Best tunes for 2000) “Every day it comes to this, catch the things you might have missed. You say, get back to yesterday. I ain’t ever going back.” Jimi Goodwin just lays it all out there with his matter-of-fact and assured delivery, sounding very much like he comes from a long line of Madchester vocalists, like a meeting over pints with Ian Brown and Tim Burgess but with some bourbon thrown in for depth. And he’s got the guitar and drum muscle to back him up on this song, all driving and gut-wrenching, creating an envelope of sound that you wish you could seal yourself up in for the afternoon. However, it’s not to be as Goodwin and the brothers Williams are urging you forward, to get you out there into the world and experience everything under the sun.

“The man who told everything”: (Much like for the previous song, I’m paraphrasing here from a past post, but in this case, the song appeared at #3) “I’m gonna tell it all, I’m gonna sell it all, I’m gonna sell / Get out of bed, come out and sing, blue skies ahead, the man who told everything.” This song is big, bold, and beautiful. But don’t mistake my words for inferring that this tune is high energy frenzy. Instead, for all the excitement of the words, the music has a more muted pace. The guitar strumming matches the easy drumming at the outset but at each chorus, another layer of guitars and string effects is added that has an arduous quality, at once daunting and stubborn and unforgiving… So much awesome.

Just in case you missed them, here are the previous albums that have graced this list:

10. Richard Ashcroft “Alone with everybody”
9. The New Pornographers “Mass romantic”
8. The Cure “Bloodflowers”
7. The Weakerthans “Left and leaving”
6. The Clientele “Suburban light”
5. Belle and Sebastian “Fold your hands child, you walk like a peasant”
4. Coldplay “Parachutes”
3. Mojave 3 “Excuses for travellers”
2. The Dandy Warhols “Thirteen tales from urban bohemia”

You can also check out my Best Albums page here if you’re interested in my other favourite albums lists.


Playlist: In the summertime

Earlier this year, I had this brilliant idea to make a series of seasonal-themed playlists and post each on these pages on the first day of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The idea was inspired by my friend Andrew Rodriguez, who has posited in the past that there are certain songs and albums that just scream out a particular season to him. I think there’s something to his idea and wanted to shared the love and expand upon it.

My playlist for Spring, the aptly titled “The first day of spring”, went off without a hitch. It was predictably full of the hope and pent-up excitement that the season brings and I posted it right on time. Of course, and incidentally, my summer playlist wasn’t as punctual. I had it made in time for the turning of the season on the calendar date but perhaps something in me felt that the time wasn’t quite right. Indeed, if you listen to these twenty-five tracks, it just screams out from the depths and the heights of mid-summer, wavering between the hazy and languid, and the all out beach and patio party.

Yes, I know August is more than half over and the kids are heading back to school soon but that doesn’t mean we have to let the summer end. As long as the sun beats down on us and the patios remain open, we can stretch this thing out and enjoy it to the fullest. So I suggest we put this playlist on repeat, turn it up, and get ready to “Lay back in the sun” and hit as many “Happy hour”s as we can.

Other highlights on this mix include:

    • “In the summertime”, the title track and opening number sets the tone with love
    • Camera Obscura’s “Lloyd, I’m ready to be heartbroken” isn’t necessarily linked to the season lyrically but it definitely has the feel that we wished all summers had
    • “Island in the sun” is Weezer as The Beach Boys and resulted in one of their biggest ever hits
    • I remember first hearing Smash Mouth’s retro fling, “Walkin’ on the sun” in the summer of 1997, falling for it, and then, falling all over myself trying to find their album in the stores
    • Black Box Recorder’s lovely cover of the wistful “Seasons in the sun”, a song originally made famous by Canadian Terry Jacks

For those who don’t use Spotify or if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, here is the entire playlist (complete with YouTube links) as I’ve created it:

1. The Rural Alberta Advantage “In the summertime”
2. The Housemartins “Happy hour”
3. Primal Scream “Higher than the sun”
4. Young Galaxy “New summer”
5. Doves “Catch the sun”
6. Camera Obscura “Lloyd, I’m ready to be heartbroken”
7. Galaxy 500 “Fourth of July”
8. The Airborne Toxic Event “The girls in their summer dresses”
9. Weezer “Island in the sun”
10. Pink Mountaintops “The second summer of love”
11. Violent Femmes “Blister in the sun”
12. The Polyphonic Spree “Light & day / Reach for the sun”
13. The Pogues “Summer in Siam”
14. Spiritualized “Lay back in the sun”
15. The Sundays “Summertime”
16. Rachel Goswell “Warm summer sun”
17. Munroe “Summer”
18. Belle and Sebastian “Another sunny day”
19. Shannon Lay “August”
20. Vampire Weekend “Cape Cod kwassa Bkwassa”
21. Smash Mouth “Walkin’ on the sun”
22. Dodgy “Staying out for the summer”
23. Black Box Recorder “Seasons in the sun”
24. The Jezabels “Endless summer”
25. The Decemberists “Anti-summersong”

And as I’ve said before, I’ll say again: Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are safe and continue to be well. Until next time, enjoy the tunes.

For those of you who are on Spotify, feel free to look me up. My user name is “jprobichaud911”.


Best tunes of 2002: #1 Doves “There goes the fear”

<< #2

If you’ve been following along, you would note that Dove’s “There goes the fear” marks the third appearance* on this list of my favourite tunes of 2002, all songs from the band’s sophomore album, “The last broadcast”. So yeah, if I ever get around to counting down my favourite albums from that year, I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see this album atop the list. I haven’t been at all secretive of my love for this band and this album. In fact, I have definitely mentioned that the discovery of this very album pulled me out of a rut that I had somehow fallen into with music and it got me back on the road to discovery and exploration.

On an album full of near perfection for me, “There goes the fear” stands out, loud and clear, and is without a doubt, my favourite track by the band. Indeed, when I counted down my top five favourites by Doves just over a year ago, this near seven minutes of heaven came in at number one there too. The track was released as the album’s first single and was deleted on the very same day, a stunt which might have cost the band plenty of sales, but it doesn’t sound like they regret it any. The trio of Jimi Goodwin and the Williams brothers, Andy and Jez, continue to perform this track live with regularity and with the same passion that you would hope would be there when listening to the studio-recorded version at home. Of course, it riffs on the band’s preferred theme of living life bravely and fully, without regrets and fear.

“Think of me when you’re coming down
But don’t look back when leaving town”

It starts like a wound up music box, topsy and turvy, and slightly off kilter, followed by a slow build in speed and thrust. It’s got a racing bass line, and a thumping heart beat, though easy enough through the first verse. Once it hits its chorus, the song erupts in victory, heart-skipping drum beat flourishes, and guitar explosions. Jimi Goodwin croons his way through, being gentle and soothing and urging, letting the music build with excitement and energy.

And you can feel it all: eyes closed, body humming, everything a blur, light trails and lasers, cars racing into the night, fireworks exploding, a million gleeful souls expounding everything, knowing full well they have to live fully in this moment, pure life, anywhere and everywhere.


*”Caught by the river” appeared at number seventeen and “Pounding” more recently appeared at number five.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2002 list, click here.