Blind Pilot Fly To Peak Performance on ‘And Then Like Lions’ (ALBUM REVIEW)


blindpilot2Like The Head and The Heart, Lord Huron, Band of Horses and the Lumineers, Blind Pilot possess a keen sense of dynamics, not to mention the ability to create melodies that ebb and flow through an emotional sweep. Folk rockers in the most modern sense, they’re the kind of band that’s really easy to fall for. Inducing infatuation through invocation, Blind Pilot make a sound that’s celebratory by definition, but also deeply moving as well. In other words, this is a band that knows its craft and shows it off without any reluctance whatsoever.

The easy infatuation they serve up so richly comes as a result of songs that somehow manage to sound both introspective and intensive all at the same time. It’s not surprising then that And Then Like Lions proves the point; like its two fine predecessors, it’s sometimes affecting and yet oftentimes introspective, and then flush with uncertain emotions at times in-between. There’s no shortage of breathtaking melodies — “Umpqua Rushing,” “Moon At Dawn” and “Seeing Is Believing” being but three.

As a result, And Then Like Lions demands far more than a mere cursory encounter.  Each listen reveals some new subtlety or nuance — the brass and strings that add an evocative undertow to “Don’t Doubt” and “What Is Yet,” the way the rhythm gradually quickens on “Which Side I’m On” until it builds to a sweeping climax,” the heartfelt sentiments at the core of “Like Lions.” Consequently, Blind Pilot manage to yield a set of songs that practically begs for repeated hearings. That’s the absolute brilliance of this band, a distinction that finds far more in their music than what appears evident the first time out. Quite simply, Blind Pilot always seem to soar, and with And Then Like Lions, they’re clearly at peak performance.

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