Ever since the turn of the latest century, foreign bands such as Coldplay, U2, and Phoenix have been slowly and surely turning heads in the music world with their own spin on alternative rock. It's about time the Christian market experienced the same kind of phenomenon, and Norwegian band Dreampilots seems to be the start. With their latest release, Comedown, the group offers a bouncy collection of inspirational pop/rock anthems. In 2005, the band released a very similar album entitled If You Ever Come Down, which was met with fairly critical acclaim.
On Comedown, Dreampilots have a decidedly upbeat attitude. Obvious throwbacks to U2, Jimmy Eat World, and The Killers abound, as well as some likening to contemporaries Satellites & Sirens, After Edmund, and Remedy Drive. There's plenty of moderately crunchy guitars, keyboards, and catchy hooks to keep any pop rocker happy here. "Keep My Soul" starts off the album with a burst of energy, as well as a good message about "being in the world, but not of it." Later on, "Stones" almost sounds like a spiritual Shiny Toy Guns cut, with an electronic beat and a slightly harsh message to hypocrites. Other high points include "Pick Me Up," which features a nice guitar hook and some well-delivered falsetto from vocalist Oddi Nessa, and "Invisible Things," where the band's reputation for "head-shaking" really shines. "Broken Man" slows things down with a spiritual ballad of forgiveness and prayer. The album's closer, "Throw Myself," finds the singer earnestly saying, "Tonight, I throw myself in Your arms...," producing in the process, perhaps one of the most somber parts of the whole album.
While Dreampilots must be admired for breaking out of their native country, there is honestly something unarguably amateur about Comedown. For starters, why in four years, couldn't the band find the inspiration to write an entirely new batch of songs? Nine out of the eleven tracks are from their 2005 release. Furthermore, the lyrics have a common thread of obscurity throughout the album. Rhyming occasionally eludes the songwriters, and some parts of songs seem to be, really, about nothing. The quality of the music in general seems sub-par, with a heavy use of generic echo and uninteresting guitar effects.
Comedown is essentially a fun album. For this, Dreampilots have solidly scored. The album rarely slowed in its danceable rock speed, and it delivered the catchiness expected of a group with their reputation. However, if the listener is interested in any depth of lyric, quality production, or even original ideas, Comedown cannot be recommended. In the end, Dreampilots have their foot in the door of the American Christian music industry, so here's hoping their next release is something special.- Review date: 9/27/09, written by Garrett DeRossett of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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