CD Review: Moments of Clarity by The Black Doves

I received the new album from The Black Doves entitled Moments of Clarity recently and was rather pleased. I had seen the CD in the local library but had yet to pick it up. So when the CD was delivered to me, I immediately put it on.

I had known their song “I Wonder If She Knows” from hearing it on the one of the Muzak stations that a business near me uses for their background music. But I never actually knew who did the song. When I saw that the CD by The Black Doves actually contained that song, and then the song started playing in my CD player, I knew that is had to be fate that the CD came to me.

Steve Wilson, a man who has spent a large part of his life as a musician, fronts the band. Steve made a name for himself in certain circles for the acoustic rock music that he used to write. With The Black Doves, his acoustic sound has been transformed into something a little harder, as the rest of the band help to turn his songs into full-fledged rock songs. Together as a group, The Black Doves is a band that can be described as part rock band and part pop band. That combination creates a style that is very listener friendly.  Several of the songs on the band’s CD could even make their way onto commercial radio.

To bring the music of The Black Doves to life, Steve Wilson is joined by a group of very talented musicians. Along with Steve Wilson on Vocals and both Acoustic and Electric Guitar, the rest of The Black Doves consists of Brent Matthews on Drums, Danny Trevino on Lead Guitar, and Frank Rodriguez on Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals.

The Moments of Clarity album from The Black Doves begins with the track “Chapter”. The track features a rather strong Alternative Rock feel to the music and brings to mind bands like Trapt whose songs like “Headstrong” contain a bit of an edge to the music. The slight edge to the music works well with this track as “Chapter” finds Steve Wilson describing a relationship in terms of an old book that has seen better days. The track’s musical edge and rather sad lyrics create a powerful track that will have the listener getting lost in the sadness in the lyrics.

Since Steve Wilson had started as a songwriter writing songs that were in the folk genre, it makes some sense that some of the songs on Moments of Clarity have a folk-rock feel. The song “I Wonder If She Knows” is one of the moments on the album that still contains that folk feeling to it. Like with the track “Chapter,” “I Wonder If She Knows” plays on the theme of a relationship that has seen better days. Wilson sings of being hurt by the actions of another who does not realize what she does actually has consequences.

Although some of the other songs on Moments of Clarity can also be described as “folk-y,” the album really cannot be described as a folk release. Wilson and the rest of The Black Doves deliver the songs with enough energy that the album never slips into a laid-back feel that most folk rock often seems to have. In fact, there are a few tracks on this album that cannot be described as “folk” at all. “Give It Some Thought” is one such song.

The beginning of “Give It Some Thought” features a solo acoustic guitar and Steve Wilson’s vocals. Soon, however, a rather strong Alternative Rock approach takes the listener into a harder Rock and Roll feel. When some of the tracks on the release contain a healthy dose of Folk influence, this track is one of the songs on the album that help to bring up the energy level.

Other songs on the release that can also be described as straight-out rock include “Learn To Live,” and “Ask Me To,” a song that could be described as a “power ballad”. In fact, “Ask Me To,” a track that comes rather early in the album, comes across as a more romantic version of the track “I Wonder If She Knows,” which actually follows “Ask Me To”. Where “I Wonder If She Knows” finds Steve Wilson pondering if the woman he cares about actually is aware of what her actions do, “Ask Me To” finds Wilson thinking back to all the good moments in a relationship and declaring he would do it all over again if he was asked.

Steve Wilson and the rest of The Black Doves have shown with this release that they possess the talent to create a very solid album such as this. From the power ballads on the release to the more powerful Alternative Rock tracks, each song on the 2008 release Moment of Clarity by The Black Doves makes the album an enjoyable listening experience.

Unaware of just how good it was, I had ignored Moments of Clarity from The Black Doves for almost two months. But getting it in the mail gave me a reason to discover what I had passed by. I suggest everyone take the time to discover this album by one of the best new rock bands that is currently making their way from unknown band to superstars. To discover Moments of Clarity, the new CD from Steve Wilson and his band The Black Doves for yourself, go to their MySpace account at www.myspace.com/theblackdovesusa.

Matheson

THE BLACK DOVES: Moments of ClarityBuy the CD