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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars +1/2 -- Intriguing acoustic indie rock from Portland, Oregon
One of the foundations of sound mixing is that you can emphasize one sound by de-emphasizing others. Portland, Oregon's Blind Pilot is a good example of how this principle works on a band level. Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski started out as a duo whose songs, built mainly on guitar and drums, emphasized lyrics and vocal melodies by stripping away all the other...
Published on February 15, 2009 by hyperbolium

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Special
since the reviews for this album are overwhelmingly those written by people head over heels for it, i thought i'd add a bit more perspective. the album is just ok, 2.5 stars would be my max. the sound is like a more polished elliot smith with more levity. really though it's a typical stripped down indie mid-fi production, with songs basic enough that you, the budding...
Published on June 17, 2012 by Scott Reynolds


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars +1/2 -- Intriguing acoustic indie rock from Portland, Oregon, February 15, 2009
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This review is from: 3 Rounds and a Sound (Audio CD)
One of the foundations of sound mixing is that you can emphasize one sound by de-emphasizing others. Portland, Oregon's Blind Pilot is a good example of how this principle works on a band level. Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski started out as a duo whose songs, built mainly on guitar and drums, emphasized lyrics and vocal melodies by stripping away all the other distractions. Their first full-length CD adds a second string player and a bassist, but even as they absorb touches of vibraphone, violin and horns, the arrangements retain the fragile sparseness that serves to spotlight Nebeker's melodious voice.

Likening Nebeker to the Shins' James Mercer acknowledges the high edge in each singer's voice, but only skims the surface of their styles. Mercer is, at heart, a rock vocalist, while Nebeker sings with more carefully constructed style, doubling his vocals, singing harmonies, and caressing his lyrics with thoughtfully stretched words and sounds. Backed by low-key mostly acoustic backings, Nebeker sheds the theatrics required of a rock vocalist, settles into the coffeehouse volume of a folk singer, and draws listeners into his lyrics with agonizingly beautiful melodies.

Nebeker's songs are crafted around ear-catching phrases, but even as you sing along, the verses remain enigmatic. But instead of remaining impenetrable assemblages of poetics, Blind Pilot communicates their songs' emotions through Nebeker's vocal tone and the band's subtle instrumental support. The lyrical imagery may remain abstract, but the feelings of loneliness, remorse, fallibility, and mortality, the longing to reach out and the reality of sharply pulling back, all resonate deeply. 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite album of the year, October 3, 2008
This review is from: 3 Rounds and a Sound (Audio CD)
"Three Rounds and a Sound" is surely the best album I've heard this year -- indeed, possibly the best album I've come across since my dearly beloved Rheostatics broke up. It's fabulously beautiful, deep and sad and lovely, and catchy all at the same time. The melancholy tone of youth at the moment when youth begins to fade. Songs that sound as if they have been patiently waiting for a millenium or more for someone to finally come along and give birth to them. "Oviedo," in particular, could save the life of a desperate man if played at just the right moment. What can I say to capture how good this disc is? If it were a girl I'd leave my wife for her. There. Enough said.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saw them at SXSW in Austin, TX - been hooked since, May 28, 2009
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This review is from: 3 Rounds and a Sound (Audio CD)
Was browsing through the SXSW lineup looking for bands to check out - the write-up for Blind Pilot caught my attention - first with them being compared to Iron & Wine as well as The Shins and then the story of their clever "Blind" and "Pilot" cycle trip. Apart from this CD as well as their live performance being outstanding, you're also taken in by how earnest and understated their performance is. I'd also say their music reminds me a bit of Calexico - especially in their ability to judiciously meld together a neat collection of instruments to create a delicate, beautiful sound.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, December 15, 2009
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This review is from: 3 Rounds and a Sound (Audio CD)
I read an article about this band and went to their web page and listened to some of their tunes their and immediately bought the digital album. It quite literally left me breathless and saying "Oh, Wow!". A cross between Folk, Alternative, & Pop, they seem to inhabit a genre all their own. Israel has a beautiful voice, but even the guitar alone makes my head spin. I'm a classic and alt rock fan, my mom is a country fan, I've a friend that is more into industrial rock and all 3 of us are impressed with this group.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful unique music, August 20, 2009
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D. Phillips (Denman Island, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 3 Rounds and a Sound (Audio CD)
I first heard about this band when I saw the Decemberists in concert in Vancouver in late July. Before this I'd never heard of Blind Pilot, and I wasn't expecting a lot from their performance (they were a warm up band after all). Surprise, surprise I found that I enjoyed them just as much as the main band I came to see, and I knew I had to find out if they had a CD.

I instantly bought the CD, and its just as good as live. They play an interesting indie pop/folk combo with some imaginative and clear vocals by the lead singer. They aren't for everyone but I thoroughly have enjoyed their stuff, and am awaiting their new material. They've got such potential for such a young band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blind Pilot is Refreshingly Beautiful, December 2, 2008
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Josh Friedman (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 3 Rounds and a Sound (MP3 Music)
Blind Pilot's 3 Rounds and a Sound is a beautiful and poetic journey. Their story telling through lyrics and song speak volumes about life and love. This is one of those bands that you want to know before they get huge, and there is no doubt they will be huge. Seeing them live is a tasty treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Blind Pilot, November 26, 2012
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This review is from: 3 Rounds & A Sound (Audio CD)
Blind Pilot is awesome, I can't get enough of their music. Great addictive beats and catchy tunes...will always be a loyal fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, September 8, 2012
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This review is from: 3 Rounds And A Sound (MP3 Music)
Such a musically talent-filled album! They're even better live. Blind Pilot is my favorite new band. Check out their other album as well. Both are superb and so chill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 strong stars. Buy it immediately., March 19, 2010
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Thomas Shope (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 3 Rounds & A Sound (Audio CD)
I'm an audio junkee. I have a high end stereo and buy lots and lots of CDs. I'm very picky and buy well recorded music that is mostly acoustic in nature. Of the hundreds of CDs I've purchased in the last few years, this is among the 10 best. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Please buy it so this band will have the support it so richly deserves. Fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like angels making babies in your ears, December 15, 2009
This review is from: 3 Rounds & A Sound (Audio CD)
I've owned this album since this summer when i learned about these guys after seeing them open for the Decemberists. Even though they only have a single, short album, these guys are already in my top 5 favorite bands, and I can't get enough of them. Saw them perform live in michigan - face melting! So beautiful, so wonderful, I can (and do) listen to it over and over and over again!!!!
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3 Rounds and a Sound
3 Rounds and a Sound by Blind Pilot (Audio CD - 2008)
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