Pilate

Caught by the Window

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Previous to Keane's smash debut Hopes and Fears, Pilate made great inroads in Canada with a similar brand of melancholic Coldplay-like emotionally driven pop. This album only exemplifies this niche as lead singer Todd Clark's high ethereal vocals bring to mind a mix of Chris Martin and Thom Yorke on the mellow opener "Endgame." The song is basically a teaser, though, at two minutes. More developed and more appealing is the lushly textured "Melt Into the Walls," thanks to drummer Bill Keeley's eclectic tempo. Guitarist Chris Greenough accents the song without stealing Clark's power. Pilate successfully and consistently tugs at your heartstrings, although the album's masterpiece "Into Your Hideout" is a foot-stomping power pop tune. Complete with dreamy harmonies, tight arrangements and a great flow, the song is well worth the album on its own. Fortunately, Pilate refuse to rest on that laurel alone. The soft, tender touches of "Mercy" sounds like Travis circa "Sing" before opening up slightly later on. The Brit band is also evoked on "Don't Waste Your Breath," a somber yet shining tune that sounds like a mix of the Beatles and Starsailor. The moody downbeat of "Fall Down" is another pleasant surprise although its Brian Wilson or Beach Boys harmony might not appeal to everyone. But Clark steals the album again with higher notes that are clearly delivered on the wistful, country-tinged "Collide." A jangle guitar makes "Perfect Thrill" more up-tempo and upbeat but pales to "Into Your Hideout." They get close with the anthem-like and grandiose "Alright" which contains a guitar riff on par with "Yellow." If there's one problem, it might be that some songs take a bit longer to get going, with a few clocking in close to six minutes. The soft pop milieu is often considered as a wimpy or pampered brand music, but it's hard not to relish when perfected on "The Travel Song."

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