If you're among the impassioned cult of Anglophiles who dig tirelessly for buried U.K.
If you're among the impassioned cult of Anglophiles who dig tirelessly for buried U.K. treasure, then you're probably already a fan of Polichinelle, which was issued by the Irish act via Setanta/Invisible Records last year. The sad truth, though, is that this wonderfully original yet wholly accessible recording may not reach beyond those dedicated, musically adventurous spirits. The Prayer Boat is not cut from trendy cloth, and as a result, it's not likely to perform well against today's seemingly endless barrage of teen acts, hip-hoppers, and pimp-rockers. Still, Polichinelle has the sweet pop melodies that should tickle mainstream ears. Front man Emmett Tinley is a masterful tunesmith with a lilting tenor voice warmly reminiscent of Travis' Fran Healy. Soft, piano-driven songs, such as the single-worthy title cut and the delicate "It Hurts to Lose You," are not blatantly commercial. Rather, they're timeless in production, meticulous in construction, and offered in intimate arrangements that reward repeated listens. But in order for that to happen, one needs to put down the disc that the big pop machine is telling you to buy (or broadcast) and try something new and different. In the case of the Prayer Boat, you'll be glad you did.—LF