A Roches Essential -- Perhaps their Best Album
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I have a sentimental bias toward their first album, THE ROCHES, and their third, KEEP ON DOING, this album might just be their strongest of all. Their writing was never stronger, as they confronted the darker, more complex issues that they sometimes evaded for the easier laugh. Terre and Suzzy, especially, displayed a great growth in their songwriting -- "Maid of the Seas" (by Terre) and "Beautiful Love of God" (Suzzy) are among the best songs either have ever written. In addition to the fine songs, the musical arrangements are also exceptional. Earlier attempts to enrich their basic guitar/voice sound were sometimes clumsy (especially on SPEAK) but here they've found a tough, muscular, yet sympathatic accompaniment that enhances their songs. Purists, of course, will protest the presence of keyboards and drums, but this album would not have been as compelling with nothing but acoustic guitars.This was their last great album; their final one, CAN WE GO HOME NOW, released three years after A DOVE, is filled with surprisingly weak songs and listless performances.Along with THE ROCHES and KEEP ON DOING, A DOVE is an Essential Roches album."
High-Quality, Sophisticated Folk-Rock Music
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to agree with the Rolling Stone Review, and partially disagree with the "music fan", who is actually in the majority of Roches fans who favor their pure folk-music efforts. Also, this album was "treading water", because of its stylistic similiarity to their previous folk-rock album, "Speak". But as a fan of classic rock & pop music, I find both albums to be great listens. More mature, melodic, and powerful than their early folk-music efforts, "A Dove" has many excellent songs on it which are beautifully sung. The beauty of the Roches' singing, as always, is worth the price of the CD alone. The production is excellent, with diverse arrangements perfectly complementing the melodies and gist of the lyrics. Some of the songs have a great up-tempo power to them that the folk-music albums lack. As for the lyrics, they are intelligent and engaging; sometimes serious, sometimes humorous. Anyone who has loved and lost can identify with these songs. The melodies are well-crafted, with catchy hooks or haunting chords that stay in your head for days at a time. As always, The Roches create a unique and singular musical experience to be cherished. "Beautiful Love of God" is one of the most beautiful songs ever, even if you don't believe in God, because of spectacular chord changes and a hauntingly beautiful and spare arrangement, featuring whistling. Few people in this world can make music as beautifully and powerfully melodic such as this. Must be heard to be believed!"
Depressing in a good way
edg16 | Arlington, VA USA | 06/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Roches' off-key singing is a taste well worth acquiring. "A Dove" is the best place for novices to start. It finds the perfect middle ground between their acoustic debut and their failed attempt at technopop, "Another World." The increased emphasis on melody brings them slightly closer to the mainstream without sacrificing any of their personality. The opening song, "Ing," sounds like a conventional pop song until the chorus, which uses vocal sampling similar to that in Lindsey Buckingham's "Don't Look Down." "Somebody's Gonna Have To Be Me" does just the opposite: the verses are full of unexpected stops and starts, before a guitar solo brings everything into focus.I'll admit the album as a whole is a bit of a downer, but that's part of what makes it so compelling. A sense of melancholy prevails, from the disappointment expressed in "Expecting Your Love" to the urban paranoia of "Too Tough Hide" (the most rocking track, with guitar borrowed from Heart's "Barracuda.") The mood never really lifts until the country-flavored 2/4 stomp "You're The Two." Youngest sister Suzzy contributes the only throwaway, "Troubled Love," but give her credit for "Beautiful Love of God," the album's most moving song."