Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Pineapple Thief

Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Pineapple Thief Little Man album cover
3.77 | 186 ratings | 9 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dead in the Water (5:27)
2. God Bless the Child (4:45)
3. Wilting Violet (4:41)
4. Wait (3:26)
5. Run a Mile (6:43)
6. Little Man (3:43)
7. November (6:50)
8. Boxing Day (3:58)
9. God Bless the Children (2:01)
10. Snowdrops (5:58)
11. We Love You (8:46)

Total Time 56:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Bruce Soord / vocals, guitars, percussion, programming
- Wayne Higgins / guitars, backing vocals
- Steve Kitch / keyboards, percussion
- Jon Sykes / bass, backing vocals, percussion
- Keith Harrison / drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Richard Hunt / violin

Releases information

Artwork: Simon Evans

CD Cyclops ‎- CYCL 155 (2006, UK)
CD Kscope ‎- KSCOPE140 (2010, UK) Remastered with new cover art

2xLP Kscope ‎- KSCOPE870 (2015, UK) Remastered by Bruce Soord and remixed by BS & Steve Kitch

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry


THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Little Man ratings distribution

(186 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Little Man reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
5 stars Wow. RADIOHEAD's THIEF. No, rather Hail to the Pineapple !!!

Again a band with RADIOHEAD's influence stands for me higher than RADIOHEAD itself. Not that brilliant as THE AMBER LIGHT, but not as boring as GAZPACHO, "Little Man" has 11 wonderful, mostly melancholical songs, filled with acoustic guitars and mellotrons; less experimental than RADIOHEAD of 2000s, but more melodic and enjoyable for me. The highlights are "We Love You", "Snowdrops", "November", "Wait" and some other songs with that definitive moments. Those who like RADIOHEAD, PORCUPINE TREE and related bands (THE AMBER LIGHT, GAZPACHO, even COLDPLAY and KEANE to some extent) must give this a spin. Recommended !!!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars The title of this album "Little Man" is in memory of Bruce Soord's son Felix who was born 3 months premature and sadly passed away February 17/06. There are two little feet on the front cover of the album and on the back of the liner notes is a picture of a little hand with the words "For Felix". I actually listened to this all week without investigating what it was about and I had two observations : 1-This is very emotional music. 2-This is one of the best PINEAPPLE THIEF albums I have heard so far. Of course once I found out what these songs were about it left me broken. Musically they still have the RADIOHEAD and PORCUPINE TREE references but the SMASHING PUMPKINS sound is gone. Bruce has said that he didn't listen to PORCUPINE TREE for years because of the constant comparisons.They didn't copy their sound thats for sure. He has since checked them out and was even contacted by Steven Wilson via E-mail after this record was released. Bruce has said his lyrics come from his heart, and lets just say these lyrics came from a broken heart.

"Dead In The Water" has a nice guitar intro and the chorus is fantastic with the vocals and guitar standing out. The song ends with some Post-Rock style guitar melodies. "God Bless The Child" has a great intro and then it kicks in after a minute. Terrific beat to this one, very catchy. It ends with heavy riffs. This could be a single. "Wilting Violet" features fragile vocals, piano and synths. Percussion comes in as the song builds. This really gets intense and the guitar is out of control. Bruce repeats "I wish I gave a better answer" over and over. "Wait" has mournful vocals, keys and marching-like drums. After 2 minutes the song kicks in as strings and keys dominate. "Run A Mile" might be my favourite. It has such a great heavy soundscape that settles down when the vocals come in. It's so uplifting 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 minutes in (reminding me of a song on ANEKDOTEN's "Gravity" record) with some heaviness in between and percussion. Some blistering guitar 5 minutes in with a wave of amazing sound 6 minutes in. Nice.

"Little Man" is so touching with lyrics like "There was no warning sign.The wounds won't heal in time.There's nowhere we will go, without you, you know. In my dreams you have your mother's smile even though we touched for just a little while. All my life you'll have your mother's smile." "November" has some violin in the intro and processed vocals. Normal vocals 2 minutes in and strings. It sounds amazing 5 minutes in with mellotron reminding me again of ANEKDOTEN. "Boxing Day" is a song that Bruce put a smiley face beside with sun glasses on when he listed the song titles before releasing the album. I knew this would be special. It's so beautiful and I feel like such a fool listening to this because it's so emotional. There is strummed acoustic guitar and great vocals. "God Bless The Children" is almost like a reprise of "God Bless The Child". This one is heavier and darker. There is processed vocals and some screaming guitar. "Snowdrops" is where I said in my mind "I can't believe how good these songs are !" Again another beautiful and emotional song with words like "We are just falling snow, so settle down,settle down. And I will slow your fall." "We Love You" is the final and longest song on the album. There are some electronic sounds and spacey synths, while we get some scorching guitar and violin as well. Another amazing tune.

These guys have not put out a record that I have given less than 4 stars, yes I am a big fan of their music. I can put on any of their studio albums and be in my happy place.This one is a little different from past works, but different in a good way.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars I always acknowledge the similarities between Pineapple Theif and Radio Head, but the two remained different enough to me to give each a distinctness worthy of attention; yet, with Little Man, Soord has composed a passionate album which sounds very, very much like Radiohead, and lost some of the group's originality in the process.

For the newcomer, Pineapple Thief's music is generally a combination of the melodic and etheric-- with fine examples of dynamics and a sort of bouyant beauty which shines through its melancholic moodiness. Little Man is a little different, emphasizing the dark/sad entirely, creating a mood of deeply emotional sombreness. There are few, if any, moments which will catch one's excitement; instruments are usually restrained, or playing simple riffs during loud moments. Soord's dreamy vocals often fall into the clouds of sound, and while lyrically simple carry a lot of emotional weight.

The end result, is Kid A, and while I appreciate the passion behind Little Man cannot help but be acknowledge, the song writing does not make as much of an impact. The middle of the album doesn't stustain the emotion created by the intro and finale. If one did not know the history or tragic inspiration behind these songs-- they wouldn't be nearly as interesting, which says to me that it's our psychology talking... not the music.

Still, Little Man is a worthy listen even though its not the group's best, if for the creative production and effects. For fans of the band its good enough to be essential; for others, its worth investigating if you enjoy the Radiohead sound.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This "Pineapple Thief" album is probably their darkest one so far (for obvious reasons already mentioned by some fellow reviewers). Inevitably the filiation with "Radiohead" is obvious: but there is nothing new here. Even if PT can't be considered as a clone, their music has always have shown this similarity.

I have to say that to listen for about an hour to this melancholic rock album is at times not very rewarding and the feel of déjà vu is increasing along after that each of the track is being played.

Very little originality, no surprise: a conventional PT album should I say. It is hard to be focused all the way through but I consider it as a good album while experiencing a "casual" listening. What I mean is that there is nothing wrong with this album but you can easily do something else while listening to it (I usually don't do that while listening to music, except while I'm driving).

A couple of fine pieces ("Dead In The Water", "Wilting Violet") do increase the quality of this "Little Man" which is a personal and sad affair for Bruce. He puts lots of emotion in his vocal parts but at times he is too languishing like during "Wait" which almost sounds as a "Muse" ballad. I quite like the second instrumental part though which is more upbeat. One of the longest track ("Run A Mile") sounds a bit loose but holds some more upbeat musical sections which are very much welcome to break the sad and melancholic feeling ("Little Man", "November").

The short and heavy "God Bless The Children" is best avoided (but it only lasts for about two minutes) and the end of the album shows again the same "Radiohead" sounds: a moving "Snowdrops" still does belong to the best available. The long and closing "We Love You" is a fine crescendo tune (yes, I like crescendos) that ends up in a very melodic and instrumental section.

A good album after all.

Review by JLocke
2 stars Well, with what seemed like a promising start, my introduction to the band was the album ''Variation On A Dream''. Very strong album, albeit a little recycled at times. The ending track, 'Remember Us', was of particular emotional strength. I thought these guys would get better over time, as seems to be the tradition with self-motivated players like the kind typically associated with this type of music. However, it seems-- with ''Little Man'', anyway --that all that has happened is they have gotten better at sounding like other people, and not good enough at developing an original sound.

Look, I realize the guy is grieving, and my heart goes out to him and his situation, but if you don't have enough material for a solid studio effort, don't go through with it. I am also quite aware of how music helps people heal; when it's done correctly, not only will it heal the artist, but the listeners, as well. In this case, I honestly feel like not enough was done to make this a concise, well-focused album.

The first fifteen minutes of this record consists of three songs, all of which are boring and uninspired, and have only about three lines of lyrics being repeated over and over again, like a mantra. If the guy was at a loss for words, he shouldn't have tried to fill the void by stretching them out over course of an average of four minute long songs. Do I sound like an ass? I'm not trying to, but I actually couldn't finish the album the first time I attempted it due to this alone. I mean, after three songs in a row of the same type thing, it seemed as if that's all this record was going to be. However, I finally picked it up again and pressed forward. Luckily, things got a little better after this 'three song hump' period.

'Wait' is the first track on the record that I could honestly call a fully fleshed-out song. It's beautiful, not nearly as repetitive lyrically as its predecessors, and also much shorter, which makes all the difference. It doesn't take overly long to tell its story, then it gets out of dodge. The content in the track is the perfect length for that. Had the previous songs been more concise and not full of B.S. like they were, maybe this album would have a stronger start, but alas, no.

The next track is once again too long for what little content is actually there. 'Run A Mile', it is called, and once again, it's falling short of what it could have been due to being twice the length than it needs to be. Make no mistake, there are some really emotional moments, here, but they are too spread apart, in my opinion, and a lot of the song is made up of soulless bridge sections that feel artificial. The chorus is absolutely gorgeous, but nothing else really affects me, here.

The album's title track is the best so far, with an effectively simple melody, but plenty of heart. The lyrics in this song certainly aren't repeated chants. They speak clearly about Soord's grief in relation to his son's death and how little amount of time they had to spend together. It's heartbreaking, haunting and beautiful. Not typical of this album, which for the most part sounds cliche and stiff, but in the case of this particular track, it's certainly the high point.

'November' is more overly-long, depressing mush. Not much else to say. Starts off promising, but goes downhill almost right away.

'Boxing Day' is the third song that I can actually listen to all the way through without tiring. Brilliantly executed, and once again, the words speak very plainly about what is going on, here. More words from a loving father to his son, and they do indeed move me emotionally. Never would I say is Soord insincere about this. Again, I just think the quality stuff is too surrounded by the uninspired musical moments.

'God Bless The Children'. Okay . . . it sounds like a slight variation on the words from the earlier track 'God Bless The Child'. It's kind of cool to hear, I suppose. I look at it as not really a full-fledged track but instead as an atmospheric interlude, which I am actually a fan of. So, not bad.

'Snowdrops' is a decent piece of acoustic-meets-alternative rock music. The violins are a nice touch. By the way, it should be noted that absolutely nothing on this disc is progressive in any way. So that is made clear, I AM going to rate this album on its Prog merits. That means it will get a comparatively low score from me when help up against the other stuff by them I have reviewed/will review in the future. That doesn't make this a bad album; it just makes it a good straightforward rock album. There is a difference.

The final track on the record, 'We Love You', is once again a moment that makes me think of Porcupine Tree almost completely. A truly progressive band shouldn't do that to a person. The similarities to PT at this point have bled into emulation, which I don't really have much time for. ''Variations On A Dream'' had moments that sounded similar to Porcupine Tree musically, but nothing as close as this. The even bigger problem is that Porcupine Tree makes music that truly sounds 'progressive' to me, where as this stuff can't possibly be progressing at all because the very act of copy-catting somebody else is regressive, if anything.

It's just like when all the Dream Theater clones clogged up the Prog Metal sub-genre, ultimately making it difficult to find truly original bands within that space. Whenever you try too hard to sound like somebody else who influenced you, it leads to music that sounds a bit stale at times. I'm not saying this album is terrible; in fact, it has enough redeeming qualities to make it worth buying, even. But I don't want people expecting to hear something completely fresh to be disappointed upon hearing ''Little Man''.

Okay, so this is where I stand on the album . . . I partially want to give it higher marks than it's ultimately going to get, and there are a couple of reason why. For one thing, the guy is clearly going through a dark time in his life on this record, and I don't want to needlessly criticize what was undoubtedly a hard record to make. Secondly, the music itself probably is more deserving than a 2.5 rating (which is what I'm giving this entry).

However, these are the reasons why I am going through with that rating: Comparatively speaking, the music on the whole doesn't stand up to other The Pineapple Thief works I have heard, and I've already given 'Variations On A Dream' a 3.5 rating. Also, if we are talking about prog music specifically, this is nowhere close. It's good, and still better than most mainstream stuff out there currently, but for prog fans, I'm not sure how strong it is, or how much appeal it would have to the more traditional prog fan, for instance.

Anyway, take away from that what you will. Large chunks of lackluster moments, with small bouts of significantly memorable music, all garnished with a helluva lot of emotion. I wouldn't say skip it entirely; just be aware of what you're getting into, and don't expect anything musically original.

Semi-happy listening, and only for those who don't mind wading through the murk.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Pineapple Thief are back into my search posse as definite targets of further interest, having re-established a relationship with their material post-'Variation' , which is where I had severed my interest for inexplicable reasons. I went looking more towards Anathema for my melancholic, gut-wrenching rides. My friend mellotronstorm is the main culprit for finding my way first to the imperially majestic 'What Have We Sown ' and still dazed from the aftershock, I ordered both 'Little Man' and the 'Someone Here is Missing' is on its way to my door. I did my research (aka read John's heartfelt review) and that was enough to take the plunge with 'Little Man' and I have been giving it the full treatment. The subject matter is extremely painful, almost to the point of torment. As a father of five, I cannot even begin to comprehend the loss of one of my offspring, it would be devastating to the point of catatonia. A searing bullet of sheer terror through my brain. Bruce Soord lost his premature-born son Felix and was comprehensibly affected down to his core. Therefore the pain that emanates from the grooves is palpable, fragile yet brutal, despairing and final. Funny thing about pain, it's often the source for great works of art, be it literature, paintings, sculpture or music. This suffering belongs to the artist but he cannot help but express it and we as an audience have to respect that, and in fact, emphatically embrace it. With empathy and love, understanding and compassion. Pity the empty swing in a snow-covered park, blue skies overhead.

Because of the context, the resulting album is therefore subject to a different set of standards, as the artist was definitely under enormous strain and pressure, which can obfuscate the clear-minded thinking that goes into the creative process. This is why the songs seem a bit disjointed or in some cases raw, as if submerged with a thick coat of distress that prevents any sunny disposition. So it should come as no surprise that the opening song 'Dead in the Water' has this numbing anesthetized cotton sound, severe despondency in the mood and punctuated by thrashing drums, heavy on the crashing cymbals and a general woozy disposition that is quite 'sinful'. The shuffling electric guitar is moribund yet jangly. Death. Water. Pain. The slightly more psychotic 'God Bless the Child' is driven by an unrelenting repetitive rage, hand claps notwithstanding, as if to find some kind of solace, some kind of panacea. 'I'm not doing it anymore' and the title reiterated ad infinitum. Anger. Rage. Fear.

Then, suddenly, from the blue skied horizon comes 'Wilting Violet', an absolute delight, a song of utter beauty and tenderness. Hoping for a superior response, something worthy of expression, in finding words that cannot explain anything anymore, as the metronome ticks and tocks with exalted tension. Both Soord and Kitch both vent heavily on their respective instruments, the guitar in fury and the synths in gale storm mode. Another agonizingly gorgeous melody announces that 'there is nothing one can do', but somehow 'Wait', as the numbing pain gently subsides, replaced by a massive mellotron embrace, military drums leading the parade. Fragility. Remembrance. Despondency.

The anger-fueled mania of 'Run for a Mile ' is a definite high point, slashing and thrashing guitars shoving the smoking mellotron ahead , driven by the cymbal-heavy oppressive drum assault and trebled bass furrow. 'Push it further', he yells gently. The bewildering piece snarls, rages, spits and splatters, with almost punkoid energy, determined and omnipresent, eventually becoming quite the sonic tornado. It all comes to a screeching halt momentarily, almost to a silence, only to restart once again veering towards a, by now, tempestuous mode. The title track is all purity and despair, an honest tribute to the fallen little one. No warning, nowhere to go and hide, no escape. The lyrics are poignant to the point of tears. Life is unfair as well as fragile, fleeting, without the slightest warning sign. Solitude. Dreams. Family.

Then comes a series of songs that, while still pulling at the heartstrings, fully develop into mini-masterpieces of progressive rock music, coated with oodles of melancholic expression. The spectral and majestic 'November' introduces glacial gusts of mellotron and a disconsolate mood, surely the most symphonic piece here, gently beautiful and epic. The ensuing guitar pyrotechnics engage on a most primitive level, heavily distorted and in obvious agony. The melodic peak is achieved on the sensational as 'Boxing Day' has a glorious chorus that feverishly clings to your heart strings, engulfing the listener in a balmy wind of hope and salvation. The lyrics really hit hard: ' I hold you tighter very night and I never let you out of sight', coated with an orchestral veneer that really impacts the arrangement. 3 Minutes and 53 seconds of absolute splendor and melancholia. A brief instrumental reprise of 'God Bless the Children' serves as an intermezzo, a broodier version of the first one, now addressing all of them as opposed to only the little one. This leads straight into 'Snowdrops', another melodic triumph, a magnificent piece of audio jewelry that breathes insubstantiality, life is just like a snowflake, eternally complex and unique yet totally flimsy and delicate. The lyrical content is elevated to celestial heights with words of wisdom: 'I will slow your fall, that is all, just settle down, the little man stands tall'. Yeah, gut wrenching, as the hand claps return to the fore, building up an emotional crescendo, heavily festooned by orchestral support.

The crushing finale is also the longest piece here, surely an elegy of the most personal kind 'We Love You' starts with an electro bleep that lingers throughout and adds dimension to the desolate lyrical manifestation ('I need your soul to feed my world'), the accent clearly on the legacy of a love that is both unbreakable and eternal. The instrumental blow out is sheer magnificence, somehow showing the way beyond. Certainly disheartening and deeply hurtful but eternity comes to those who die and who have been loved for the person they were. Faith. Fate. Freedom.

This is perhaps one of the most personal and profound piece of musical art I have heard in a long time, a scream in the dark, a searing blade shoved deep into the soul. Respect. Honor. Love. When compared to the next album, the masterful 'What Have We Sown', it appears that the Soord was not up to the task of honing the sonic details and deliberately, perhaps even mercifully, kept things straight and narrow and obviously, highly emotional and grief stricken . A dark moment. Let's leave it then at that.

4.5 tiny angels

Latest members reviews

4 stars For me personally, this album is where the "thief" begins, which I, like many, love. In my subjective opinion, the recording completes the cycle of early albums, which did not differ in interest, depth, or proper quality of music! If you are not a "bullheaded" TPT fan, then everything before this ... (read more)

Report this review (#2480597) | Posted by Devolvator | Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Pineapple Thief managed to create a very emotional and well-written piece with this album. This is a very personal album for Bruce Soord, and the lyrics and the music have a very melancholic feel to them. Highlights to this album include the opener, God Bless the Child, November, Boxing Day, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1285955) | Posted by Obsidian Pigeon | Monday, September 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album, whilst very good on first listen, is definitely a 'grower'. A more 'acoustic' album than most of the previous offerings, it quietly creeps up on you until you realise that, wow, this truly is a fantastic offering. The lyrics have a minimalist feel about them. Let me explain what ... (read more)

Report this review (#103593) | Posted by progadder | Tuesday, December 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE PINEAPPLE THIEF "Little Man"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.