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The Pineapple Thief - All The Wars CD (album) cover


The Pineapple Thief


Crossover Prog

3.71 | 210 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars As The Pineapple Thief continue to put out albums, I continue to wonder about whether they are really progressing or not. You'll have a pretty good album, then you'll have one that seems a little mediocre, like this one. For the most part, they have made the choice to make songs that aren't really that progressive, but more mainstream sounding on this album, that they sound more like a really good alternative rock band more than a progressive band. Yes, they still take musical cues from Porcupine Tree, Muse, and so on, but, while this one is guitar heavy, it sounds more like progressive-lite, or a commercial sounding Steven Wilson record. The band can't be compared to other current hard prog-rock bands like Dredg, The Dear Hunter or Tool because the main thing that seems to be missing, even on their better albums, is emotion.

So, on "All The Wars", you get mostly guitar heavy hooks that always sound impressive from the outset, like "Build a World", but as soon as the vocals start, things seem to lose power and aim, probably because of the singer trying to sound more MOR and radio friendly. That is the case throughout this album. It's tough to find highlights on this album, even though it is pleasant enough to listen to, things just don't develop enough. Sure the strings and orchestra are nice too, again as on the aforementioned "Build a World", they build towards the end, making you think you might get a nice climax, but there is no real payoff. When you get to some of the longer tracks, like "Give It Back", at about 7 minutes, you would expect maybe better development. Again, you start with a nice guitar hook to start out, but the vocals start and the song immediately loses steam. Some would argue that this sounds like Radiohead, and while some of their songs do lose some power when the vocals start, at least they are a lot more inventive and experimental with a lot more variety. "Give it Back" doesn't really develop much either, but actually tries to build on a very repetitive lyric and rhythm pattern, which doesn't really accomplish what it sets out to do, so a longer track doesn't end up really changing much. There are guitar breaks, but they are too reminiscent of Porcupine Tree, and they are shorter. Porcupine Tree did a much better job of making hard progressive music than this. On this album, Pineapple Thief try to hard to sound like their contemporaries and also try to make things more accessible, but end up making things just sound watered down and repetitive.

There are times when they try doing some tricky rhythms, which tend to lend a little more variety in the last part of the album, but the emotion is still lacking. The orchestration does nothing more than support the band, making it pretty much unnecessary. This is apparent in both "Someone Pull Me Out" and "One More Step Away". The album continues to rely on repetitiveness and a lack of inventiveness, and what you get overall, at least on this album, is not enough progressiveness, and too much more like making alternative rock that is mildly interesting, but nothing really special. 3 stars.

TCat | 3/5 |


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