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Beaky Realistic ONE DOVE
Morning Dove White
(Boys Own/London/All formats)
POPULAR MYTH has it that the world has been holding its trousers in drooling anticipation of this orgasmic artefact since it was finished last summer, because everyone desperately wants a state-of-the-art shagging soundtrack. Well keep your pants on, folks, for the ambient Scottish trio's long-awaited debut is more likely to lull you into a light coma.
Even before you explore its windswept extremities, the title indicates there's trouble in paradise. For months this album has been trailed as 'Sound', as in 'Pet Sounds'; One Dove share Brian Wilson's pristine pop dreams. Suddenly it has been rechristened 'Morning Dove White', a clumsy title reminiscent of those Taiwanese sweatshirts sporting pidgin English gobbledegook.
This is but an omen of what awaits within. Somewhere down the line, One Dove's vision of blasting mainstream pop sky high with clubland's mighty beats and sun-drenched vibes has become similarly blurred. The wild rock fireworks and shuddering towers of dub which original producer Andrew Weatherall crammed into early advance cassettes have been stripped and clipped to squeaky clean bones by chart-friendly Stephen Hague, part of an alleged long-running dispute between Weatherall's Boys Own stable and London Records about how best to market the trio.
Inevitably, even without this demoralising tug-of-love, any album trailed as the natural sequel to 'Screamadelica' will suffer by comparison. Even with a born superstar like Dot Allison and a string of stupendous singles aboard. Here they am again: 'Fallen', the sensual confessions of a post-rave Shangri-La's; 'Transient Truth', a pulverising rock-steady rhythm made intimate by Dot's breathy whisper and uncluttered vocal aerobics; 'White Love', a sublime and screamingly commercial 'gos anthem. Next up will be 'Breakdown', a shimmering candyfloss confection more coherent and classically stmctured than all three predecessors, with Number One ambitions pulsating deep in its pink marshmallow heart. Four huge, planet-shaking tunes. Plus two messy re vivals of 'White Love' and an overly sedate remix of 'Breakdown'. Then what? Not the loose narrative sprawl of 'Screamadelica"s superhuman highs and subterranean lows but an airy, spacious soundtrack to an art movie with dozens of exotic locations, little dialogue and no plot.
Thankfully, all is not lost 'My Friend' is a sultry ethnic dub symphony while 'Why Don't You Take Me' shrouds what sounds like a lyrical steal from Bowie's 'Young Americans' in fluffy clouds of gospel ambience. In such stirring moments, the 'Screamadelica 2' tag makes sense. But One Dove need to temper their downy-haired smoothness and doe-eyed innocence with more of the debauchery of their blueprint.
Potentially the best post-rave pop act in Britain, One Dove have a confused compromise of a debut on their hands which won't fully satisfy either camp. The polished Hague sections would be perfect given mom strong tunes to nip and tuck, while the stomping Weatherall treatment only works If allowed to cut loose and shape an entire project. Meanwhile, the merely adequate 'Morning Dove White' flies lower than the sun. (6)
Steven Dalton

Originally appeared in NME, 10 July 1993 . Copyright Copyright NME, All Rights Reserved.

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