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The Pineapple Thief - Dissolution CD (album) cover

DISSOLUTION

The Pineapple Thief

Crossover Prog


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5 stars I've never been much a fan of The Pineappld Thieft. I've heard quite few albums of them and most of their songs felt quite unremarkable, with some exceptions. Still, after Gavin Harrison joined up the crew, Your Wilderness was the first album I really enjoyed, and Dissolution really upped their game.

This time Gavin Harrison helped in the writting process and you can definitely hear it through the songs. But this is not only about GH as the other members inputs also helps creating a very cohesive and solid album. There's lots of memorable hooks, very nice guitar riff's and solos, crazy atmosphere created by the keyboards and guitars and your usual GH odd time signature's and clean but complex drumming patterns.

White Mist is a must listen track.

5/5

Report this review (#2022110)
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | Review Permalink
rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars Here's a new chapter in the world of Pineapple Theif with an album that is co-written by Bruce and Gavin Harrison, the new member of the band. The album is more of a group effort then Bruce's music. The themes of the album are rather dark because it talks about the destruction of society through social media and technology as a new way to spread out violence. The music on this album is less electronic and metal than his previous material. While the acoustic side of the band has been always present, it has never been so obvious here. The melodies are gorgeous, and then the voice of Bruce never been so good. The album starts quietly but it takes a heavier note with the beautiful song "Threatening War". The sudden burst of guitar metal riffs in the Porcupine Tree style are almost gone here with some delicate melodies that takes a lot of acoustic sounds even with some delicate drums of Gavin. "All That You've Got" is a song that could be a single in the future. "Shed a Light" starts as an acoustic song and the rest is some improvisation from Gavin Harrison. "White Mist" is another good song that displays some nice guitar melodies with the addition of guitarist David Torn. My only criticism is on the more conventional style of music in the songs "Uncovering Your Tracks" and "Far Below" I recommend buying the special edition to hear the acoustic album with the songs running in a different order and with the guitar of Goerge Marios. But also to have both versions of the album in surround.
Report this review (#2024090)
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2018 | Review Permalink
BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Bruce Sword and company have collected a very well-recorded and rendered group of more Indie or pop rock- oriented songs for this 2018 release. Nice contributions from Gavin Harrison and David Torn.

1. "Not Naming Any Names" (2:05) a brilliantly sedate and spacious opener with Bruce singing over piano in such a soft, emotional voice. A top three song for me. (4.5/5)

2. "Try As I Might" (4:26) clear, clean guitar-based rock with the always-welcome drumming of Gavin Harrison. There are several PT/Steven Wilson-like moments or nuances, but over all it's a very good song. Slide guitar used for the solo instrument in the "C" part. (8.5/10)

3. "Threatening War" (6:37) singing in a little higher register, Bruce leads us into another more delicate, sensitive story. He gets more aggressive as the music drops out and leaves only an acoustic guitar, but then the full band kicks in with a straightforward rocker for the chorus. The "C" part on this song is where everything interesting happens: guitar harmonics, subtle drumming flourishes, etc., but it's too short. Then it kicks back into the chorus section before finishing out with the final verse and chorus. (8.25/10)

4. "Uncovering Your Tracks" (4:29) interesting Peter Gabriel-like foundational weave sets up before Bruce sings in an almost-talking voice. The chorus is amped up by strumming acoustic guitars and a few electric guitar chords. This presence of a raunchy electric guitar gives the song a kind of Steven Wilson feel to it--especially as the vocal has gone this way--while the ensuing guitar also has a frenetic squeal tone not unlike upcoming song guest David Torn. Not enough variation and diversity to make this one really stand out. (8.5/10)

5. "All That You've Got" (3:27) rock 'n' roll with an indie feel. Indistinct and nondescript save for the awesome guitar solo in the third minute. (8.25/10)

6. "Far Below" (4:36) opens with a little "Thunder Island" feel--and this remains the dominant chord and guitar approach throughout this rockin' song. Unfortunately, it gets a little monotonous. (8/10)

7. "Pillar of Salt" (1:25) A non-descript song. Too bad I don't hear lyrics. (3.5/5)

8. "White Mist" (11:05) the length of this song allows for some nice sound experimentations from several contributors, David Torn being the primary source. Gavin's work is so solid, like the spine of a vertebrate. But the song never really digs in, never digs deep enough to engage me into a head-banging, foot-stomping, air-guitar strumming experience (though Harrison and Torn's interplay in the seventh and eighth minutes is pretty darn awesome!). After the 8:20 mark there is an awesome section of keys and drums before Bruce rejoins with his singing--which is then followed by some stunning guitar shredding by Torn. The second best song on the album. (8.75/10)

9. "Shed a Light" (5:20) sparse acoustic guitar play with delicate vocal opens this song. When the full band joins in it has a kind of twangy folk-pop sound to it not unlike a Ben Watt/Everything But The Girl song. Odd guitar strumming precedes a very cool heavier guitar and keyboard-based chord ascension before we mysteriously (and disappointingly) return to the sparse opening style and sound (with drums and simple bass). The wide and dramatic dynamic shifts of this song do make it interesting and the chord progressions and vocal melodies are the best on the album. (9/10)

Though Gavin Harrison's presence is heard, it's not really felt as none of these songs really explores or experiments much with standardized forms or sounds. This is a rock album; the band's least proggy album yet.

Four stars; a nice addition to any prog lover's music collection.

Report this review (#2025030)
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2018 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The hottest band on the market?

Yes.

Pineapple Thief grew a ton of hair since Gavin Harrison joined. No more peachfuzz, the music is now a muscular but very gracious adult. Like Porl Thomson, Dave Grohl or Ian Mosley , Harrison is now 'THE drummer' that elevated a band to something better, higher or steadier. Although he's never overdoing it, his mind-boggling beats (and melodies?) are giving the band an aura of true perfectionism, something sleek and chic, that elevates everything and making it classy.

The recipe is quite similar to their 'Wilderness' album, don't expect any changes: more imploding than Porcupine Tree but still rumbling with anger at times. I like when the band is leashing out crunchier moments, unfortunately rarer on this cookie. PTh is good at what Porcupine Tree started and perfected until The Incident (that sucked the big one). On the other side, PTh is giving you a good following to that pattern but only with more eerie/spooky factor perhaps? The more you listen, the more you realize you're facing an hybrid beast: half-past, half-future but completely charming.

Whatever floats your goat, Dissolution is giving you a great time, no doubt about it. Closer to a pop album than a prog, it's short, goes to the point and cut off all the baloney elements of longer albums (*ahem* Roine Stolt). Are you tired of interminable records of 74 minutes? I sure am. Something epurated like this album is oxygen for your brain and won't test your patience. If they keep up like that, they will give birth to a mammoth of good taste and self-mastery. They are THAT close.

Who said shorter albums are because of the lack of inspiration? Not this case here!

Report this review (#2036254)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars Is this it, their masterpiece?

A personal favorite TPT album for me is Little Man that despite the incredibly dark subject matter (the loss of a baby and the tsunami of emotions surrounding that event) really draws me in. Little Man is raw, gut-wrenching, incredible music. I sense a similar dynamic to this album too; albeit without the backdrop of personal tragedy. A lot of The Pineapple Thief's output flirts with greatness but never quite hits that mark. But with Dissolution, I believe, Soord and company have found that sweet spot- unforgettable melodies and a flawless listening. It's not really progressive though, and that's OK.

For a band that's been around a long time, Dissolution sounds surprisingly fresh. I assume the infusion of of Gavin Harrison talent into a true band member/collaborator for TPT plays a large role in this.

Things that strike me: Perfect production. Painstaking detail to each song. Absence of filler, every song is good.

It's evident that Bruce Soord really did give this one the attention this album portrays now. Put on a good set of headphones, pour a glass of decent wine, close your eyes, sit back and take this one in? you won't be disappointed.

This is it; their masterpiece.

Report this review (#2037304)
Posted Friday, September 21, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is another one of those albums where, even though you feel you've had enough of it already, you keep coming back. You know it is starting to sound repetitive, but you just do it again because it will sound so good again. And it's kinda hard to explain.

For me, the previous release of Your Wilderness was a sign of great things to come with Gavin Harrison hopping up. In itself it didn't have the substance, but it showed the potential. And with Dissolution, they brought such potential to justice: kinda like when Meddle worked as the unintended terrain preparation for Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon.

In itself, the songs follow Pineapple Thief's usual formula of "safe innovation" and titles that are repeated throughout the lyrics (ha-ha). I was starting to get disappointed at it until that monster that is White Mist. The album's epic (if you can call it that way) gave me the motivation to try another spin. And since, for me, this was one of those albums that grew over time, it just got better with each listen. The songs are almost paired to a certain extent, where the "breathing time" between the album peaks are balanced just right and the album lasts as much as it needed to, leaving us with the feeling of wanting more but grateful for what we had.

On musicianship, it is glorious as it should be. Bass is almost the pulse of the album, and the atmosphere that is put together make this album a journey. It's definitely one for a listen with noise-cancelling headphones in a not-to-be-disturbed time.

This is something.

Report this review (#2055855)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've struggled to really get into much of The Pineapple Thief's catalogue over the years. Bruce Soord's vocals have always been touchingly wistful, but I felt the songwriting failed to offer big surprises that could drive the songs to another level and prevent their albums becoming a little predictable. I think Dissolution really solves this issue. Some of that might be down to the addition of Gavin Harrison on drums. While present for the previous release (Your Wilderness) he reportedly played a bigger role in the songwriting process on this album, perhaps most clearly in the standout track - White Mist - which is IMO a modern prog classic. The album as a whole does a wonderful job of charting a consistent lyrical line around (post)modern alienation in a world of cyber-bullying, anonymous attacks and political decay. Bruce's singing is consistently excellent, creating a menace with his delightfully lightly pitched tone. The band is wonderful, and Harrison's work is jaw-dropping in its attention to detail. Fabulous album!
Report this review (#2233052)
Posted Monday, June 24, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Autumn, melancholic. An alarming tendency to soften and simplify compositions is immediately apparent. This album is a kind of "respite" of the group - alas, it has not surpassed its predecessor. This is "Dissolution" by The Pineapple Thief. What can you say about it? The group retained its former incredible melody and spacious, rich sound. The palette has become softer and darker at the same time, the songs are full of melancholy and beauty, but the band members have forgotten about their former power. Gavin Harrison is still in the saddle, but without the same fire, which is depressing. Equally unpleasantly surprising is the absence of epic and complex tracks at the end of the album, which makes the LP a little crude in the conceptual sense of the word. The booklet, alas, is just as unpleasantly simple: 20 pages of black paper with a dry presentation of the texts. These moments drag the record down, but are not fatal for the album. The obvious advantages are the magnificent dark, almost cinematic atmosphere of the music and laconicism: where previously it took 10 or more minutes to achieve the effect, now only 3-4 are used. Gone are the powerful "prog fills", but there are drum-rolls that were absent in the previous albums. Of the obvious diamonds of the record: "Uncovering Your Tracks". Beautiful paranoia, pleasant soft silvery drum sound and vocals that have already become classics of neo-progressive, as well as the guitar. In the middle, the piece explodes with a magnificent solo from Bruce Soord and technical drums, creating a sense of chase, fear and persecution, which soon abates, returning to its former calm course. And the second one is "Try As I Might": a kind of forerunner of the above-described thing and a wonderful beginning of the album (since the first composition is only a semantic background insert). Between them is a quiet autumn "Threatening War", which goes with a barely audible step, with beautiful acoustic guitars. All three tracks form a kind of suite, interestingly combined with each other. But the second part of the album, alas, came out more even and calm, which prompts different thoughts. The stuff is good, but it doesn't add anything new to The Pineapple Thief's rich and multifaceted heritage. Although it cannot be called a tragedy. The album is not the top - but it is one of the best releases.
Report this review (#2479330)
Posted Monday, November 23, 2020 | Review Permalink
The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I think every band has its personal masterpiece. And Dissolution is The Pineaple Thief's one!

Your Wilderness was an excellent step forward for the band, and Gavig Harrison added just what they needed to expand their sound and scope. And Dissolution is even better. More focused, catchy and everything sounding just fine.

Is not a weak track to be found here, and Bruce Soord again demonstrates that he is one of the most interesting prog composers out there!

Best Tracks: all of them are good, but I personally find Try As I Might, All That You've Got and White Mist specially good.

My Rating: *****

Report this review (#2543428)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2021 | Review Permalink
A Crimson Mellotron
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Pineapple Thief find themselves triumphant on their electrifying 2018 art rock achievement 'Dissolution', the band's twelfth studio album, released on Kscope. This exciting British band has been a synonym for quality in the last decade, becoming one of the most respected bands whose music gently crosses over alternative rock and progressive rock in a very contemporary and welcoming fashion, occasionally coming close to the sensibility and aura left by Porcupine Tree the previous decade, allowing a very fine touch of sentimentality to protrude their excellent music, it is 'Dissolution' that might confidently be regarded as the band's best effort so far.

Perhaps one will find the strengths of this record in the band's impressive ability to keep things compact, yet fully expressive in terms of songwriting - the masterful duo of the talents of Bruce Soord and Gavin Harrison graces the sonic portrait of 'Dissolution' with a tender maturity that can be experienced from the very first seconds of the opening track 'Not Naming Any Names'; the strong use of acoustic instruments will go on to mark this album as a very sheltering one. Great songs follow one after another with the melodic 'Try as I Might' coming next, or the cerebrally touching 'Threatening War', a Bruce Soord classic, elevated majestically by the fabulous drumming, the acoustic touch and the soft keyboard soundscapes. The album goes on in the same spirit, giving off the impression that you are immersed in one big continuous piece of music, the coherence of 'Dissolution' is absolutely astonishing; the great production also helps, with the gracious warmth of every nuance of each instrument caressing the listener's ears. It is tracks like 'All That You've Got', 'Far Below', or the grandiose 'White Mist', the 11-minute epic at the end of the record that add up to the unprecedented experience of submerging into the sensitive world that this LP proposes, excellent and flawless from beginning to end.

Certainly one of the highlights of the year and of the decade, this album by The Pineapple Thief is a very melancholic, beautifully-written piece of contemporary art rock, showcasing the talents of a band capable of creating something minimalistic, yet gorgeously warm and welcoming - a really great effort by Bruce Soord and co. that will go down in history as one of the tiny gems of the genre.

Report this review (#2693608)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2022 | Review Permalink

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