As surely as A&R people follow a bandwagon, an album follows a remember-us-we're-back single. And so Doves follow up their relatively upbeat single Black and White Town with the album it comes from: Some Cities.
Kitty Empire at The Observer is equivocal. She dismantles the misconceptions expressed by the likes of Londonist in the first paragraph that Doves are a dour bunch, leading one to think she's about to deliver a shining review. However, she goes on to say, "Although it will doubtless be regarded warmly come next December's best-of lists, this still isn't a great album, merely a pleasant one.". The Observer's sister paper, The Guardian, gives a similarly average review.
The Independent is more enthusiastic (and somewhat scatching about Athlete and Feeder along the way) giving the album 4 stars. "Doves have quietly slipped in to fill the gap with the kind of album that may usurp Coldplay's position as kings of melodic melancholy."
The Kills' last album, Keep On Your Mean Side, was entertaining, in a sparse, depressing, 'definitely don't listen to this album when alone at home feeling very lonely' kind of way. So definitely not a band to confuse with 'band with a very shouty lead singer' The Killers. The BBC isn't too fond of their new album No Wow, however. They see too many echoes of PJ Harvey and The White Stripes, concluding that "There is pleasure to be found in No Wow, though next time they'd be better off using their own voice."
The Guardian is similiarly unenthusiastic, although giving the album the same rating as it gave Doves - 3 stars. The Independent has an interview with The Kills but true to its name, doesn't let this affect its review, giving the album a measly 2 stars. "It's not so much wow as ho-hum. Musically, their self-imposed imperative of the most basic, stripped-down sound possible simply denudes their songs of what little interest they may have triggered in the first place."
Not so good, then, although there's a dissenting voice with Drowned In Sound's review giving the album 4 out of 5. "Despondency shouldn't sound this good," they reckon.