I guess I should start with a test to see if you even want to go on with the review. Don't worry; it is only one question and a relatively easy one at that. On a scale of one to ten, how do you feel about aliens? Because that is what this album is about. I mean ALL about. So, if you're a little iffy on aliens and don't think that it belongs in your CD collection or maybe you got enough of the whole space/alien thing with David Bowie's Space Oddity, you may want stop reading and pass on the CD. If you're still interested, read on…
The thing about having a concept album is that it is a safe bet that you will alienate (pun intended) some of your listeners. The majority of bands considering a concept album wouldn't have their first album be one. And aliens? I mean, come on! I feel like it is karaoke for the IT department but with songs that are being made up on the spot. Apparently, these songs draw from the works of Ray Bradbury but while Mr. Bradbury's work remains highly regarded works of fantasy (his word not mine), Cue the Doves attempt to distill the ideas contained in the stories into three minute songs is very heavy handed. The worst of the bunch is "The Balance". This song-like the rest of the songs-tries to convey the sense of otherworldliness. Basically, they have two tricks with which to do so-guitars laden with effects and lyrics that spell out everything as plainly as possible for the listener. "The lights from the sky are falling/ The lights from the sky are falling/ This is not what I expected/ The lights from the sky are falling/ They're taking me home taking me home." And then, get this… "I'm not human." The first part is repeated so many times that I just can't believe that the point isn't really clear long before we even get to the "I'm not human." It was at that point that I felt the sharp crack of being hit over the head.
Luckily, my head injury rendered the rest of the album relatively enjoyable because I couldn't focus enough to listen to the lyrics. This album isn't for everyone but they carry enough indie cred with former member of Beautiful Mistake that just enough people might be willing to listen to them, keeping them around for another album. It is going to be about Big Foot. I can't wait. "The woods are calling/ I don't wear pants/ This isn't what I expected/ I've got big feet."