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THE PINEAPPLE THIEF

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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The Pineapple Thief picture
The Pineapple Thief biography
Founded in Yeovil, Somerset, UK in 1999

Bruce SOORD of VULGAR UNICORN starts his solo career with this band, which is inspired as much by PORCUPINE TREE as by his old group. PINEAPPLE THIEF has a mix of prog with some space rock. Balance, beauty, and modernity are all to be found in the plush sounds of PINEAPPLE THIEF ... great melodies, songs and plenty of atmospheres. This band will appeal to fans of RADIOHEAD, but other occasional influences show through that are less obvious but apparent (PINK FLOYD, U2, OZRICS and KING CRIMSON).

With their second release, PINEAPPLE THIEF (PTh for short) have reached a state of grace with their frenzy guitar drawings and acoustic sets, using Mellotron to the better effect without ever sounding retro. Indeed, and more than with the two previous albums from PINEAPPLE THIEF, "Variations on a Dream" is brimming over with its creator's talent and is impressive with its incredible commercial potential. Thus, PTh has elaborated a "double layer album", in which the prog fan will enjoy the fine-tuned production and the arrangements, while the pop rock lovers will be delighted with accessible and addictive songs. This is the type of CD that one plays over again as soon as it ends. A little miracle of balance, and a place in my Top 5 for 2003.

Highly Recommended..!

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THE PINEAPPLE THIEF discography


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THE PINEAPPLE THIEF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 86 ratings
Abducting the Unicorn [Aka: Abducted at Birth]
1999
3.27 | 87 ratings
137 [Aka: One Three Seven]
2002
3.26 | 157 ratings
Variations On A Dream
2003
2.47 | 55 ratings
12 Stories Down
2004
3.31 | 105 ratings
10 Stories Down
2005
3.77 | 171 ratings
Little Man
2006
3.87 | 240 ratings
What We Have Sown
2007
3.67 | 216 ratings
Tightly Unwound
2008
3.57 | 275 ratings
Someone Here Is Missing
2010
3.71 | 192 ratings
All The Wars
2012
3.65 | 183 ratings
Magnolia
2014
3.92 | 295 ratings
Your Wilderness
2016
3.92 | 252 ratings
Dissolution
2018
3.75 | 82 ratings
Versions of the Truth
2020

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
Live 2003
2003
3.61 | 14 ratings
Someone Here Is Live
2010
4.33 | 12 ratings
Live At The 013
2013
4.09 | 11 ratings
Live 2014
2015
3.95 | 28 ratings
Where We Stood
2017
3.86 | 7 ratings
Hold Our Fire
2019

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 51 ratings
3000 Days
2009
3.29 | 9 ratings
Introducing ...The Pineapple Thief
2014

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Sherbet Gods
2000
3.84 | 10 ratings
4 Stories Down
2005
5.00 | 1 ratings
Limited Edition Free CD
2006
4.25 | 16 ratings
Shoot first
2008
3.92 | 29 ratings
The Dawn Raids (Part 1)
2009
3.87 | 26 ratings
The Dawn Raids (Part Two)
2009
3.67 | 18 ratings
Show A Little Love
2010
4.75 | 4 ratings
Nothing At Best
2010
4.00 | 22 ratings
Build A World
2013

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 What We Have Sown by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.87 | 240 ratings

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What We Have Sown
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars "Pink Thief" indeed. The most "Pink" of all albums, if you take my hint. This is an "expansion of eclecticism" started by the previous album "Little Man", which was essentially the first real disc to define Thief's style. Only, unlike "Man", here the listener has a full palette of musical moves and scales. And this is the most "acoustic" opus from the entire discography of the group. The melodies, as in the earlier works of the group, are still extremely "fragile", the text component is so far nothing more than a beautiful shell of the music, but the latter should be discussed separately. Music now has a pronounced progressive direction, I would even say "symphonic". The sound is melancholic, juicy and rather angry, considering that the band, in fact, was only gaining momentum then. This is such a "Symphony of a Little Man", barely getting to his feet, but already confidently and ambitiously walking forward. The album's jewels are a number of tracks. "All You Need To Know" is the can opener of the album: the composition contains all this inimitable recording as if in miniature. The thing at the end is peppered with a great guitar solo from Bruce Soord, who has proven himself to be a great master at extracting mood from strings. The second diamond of the album (and, perhaps, of the entire discography of the group) is "Deep Blue World". A magnificent sublime sadness, a panoramic "modulating" voice with fragile intonations, flying up and falling down, coupled with landscape and bright keyboards. The same beautiful, almost "street-tough", acoustic guitar interludes, carrying alarming tension, replaced by picturesque expanses. In this song, the group almost "offhand" took bite off a huge musical layer, skillfully reworking it into their future style. Therefore, "Deep Blue World" (for me) can enter the "gold pool" of "neo-progressive" music. The controversial point is the title track "What Have We Sown" with a rather vague melodic component: it lasts as much as 27 minutes! Hey guys! Isn't it too early for such epic canvases for a group that has just left a rather narrow format? Just a really good melody could just as well have sounded for about seven minutes. To date, this is the longest composition by "The Thief", and its length is not as justified as it seems to the authors of the song. The rest of the songs correspond to the high level of the musicians and the direction of the album. Special thanks to the band for the great cover of the disc; it seems as if combines the scope and motives of "Atom Heart Mother" and "The Division Bell". Just a characteristic landscape, but, as in music, and visually, "The Pink Thief" is able to make beautiful out of everyday life, which one wants to listen to and consider for a long time.
 Little Man by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.77 | 171 ratings

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Little Man
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

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 album is not worth digging. Only here the creative growth of the group begins, although so far it is expressed in simple, straightforward tracks, but they suddenly feel the coming volume and scope. "Run A Mile" is a "smash-hit". It is typical for the early TPT with lingering vocal intonations. An interesting track with bright emotional transitions. "Wait" is music reminiscent of the later work of TPT. "Little Man" is something like a mature Opeth or even Katatonia, only with a more pronounced vocal component. In general, there are lot of tracks, and the album is pretty smooth. For me, this is not quite the TPT that I start to like from the next album (Whаt Have We Sown). But this record is important for me as the starting point for the band's creativity, because it is from here that a series of cool albums begins - for years to come! Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Front cover! Just a swing shot with an infrared filter. On the one hand, nothing special, on the other, why not? There is something in this, as well as in the whole album. So far, this is just something that blossomed on the subsequent recordings of the most worthy of the bands.
 Someone Here Is Missing by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.57 | 275 ratings

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Someone Here Is Missing
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars "Simple-complex". So you can characterize this album in a quick fluent way, which makes the record absolutely unique in its kind. "Someone Here Is Missing (2010)" by The Pineapple Thief consists of many rather biting and deliberately straightforward pieces, barely exceeding 5 minutes. This is the hardest and most controversial (for the mass of fans) disc released by the band. They challenged themselves to break away from the image of the followers of Radiohead and Porcupine Tree, as well as the standards of modern progressive rock. Only here there is much more heaviness and melody than those of the above, this album is simply too unlike the rest of the group's works, among which there are many masterpieces. The recording has "everything and anything": an emotional and high-pitched voice, powerful guitar, acoustic moments, atmospheric keyboards and hard drum programming. In all these aspects, the ensemble is extremely competent and does not "overflow" even once! But the simplicity of tracks, as well as the album itself, is only a seeming phenomenon at first glance. The group managed to achieve the effect of creating a complex unified whole from many pieces of broken mosaic. If you love this group and "dig the genre" then you will get all 50 shades of splendor. The title composition is a kind of connecting - musical and semantic - link of the entire album. In which everything merged together, what is presented separately in each track. The song "The State We're In" could well have served as a single to the album (though the band didn't bother too much about this) and the last song "So We Row" is just some kind of powerful mixture of psychedelics of the 1970s, Brit-pop, nu metal and art rock. A bright and multi-layered conclusion to the original release. The production itself is incredibly clean! I've never heard such an aggressive guitar sound, which sometimes turns into direct distortion, but at the same time it sounds incredibly crystal-clear. This is despite the fact that the group's discs were released exclusively by indie labels. Of particular note is the incredible album cover. Reissued already without the name of the group (as the musicians originally wanted). There is a feeling of something really forgotten, the authors of the idea had to stick around the model with sticky pieces of paper for this. I will say right away that this photo has nothing to do with Hipgnosis, the studio that worked with Pink Floyd. Although the similarities are obvious. So, before you is a mystery album that needs to be listened to very carefully. The reward will not be long in coming, especially since the group is immensely talented. Here they act as conceptual artists.
 All The Wars by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.71 | 192 ratings

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All The Wars
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars Album titled "All The Wars" (2012) by The Pineapple Thief, came out not so unambiguous. This is probably because the band was busy touring and the musicians didn't have enough time to write more stuff. The disadvantage of the album, in my opinion, is the excessive "diversity" of the compositions. And the ballad component, alas, is not the strongest side of the Thief. But when it comes to powerful tracks, the band has refined its sound again and added depth to the once raw and deliberately primitivistic sound. The keyboards also became brighter (they were always there, they just seemed to have grown from this album). And of course the vocals of Bruce Soord from this album blossomed with bright colors and still does not fade. He can rightfully be called the new Robert Plant from the neo-progressive scene, with a guitar skill that rivals David Gilmour, only unlike Dave, who has a more raw, grungy approach. In any case, these qualities in one person are a real gift for connoisseurs. There are two tracks to focus on. One such subtle masterpiece is "Someone Pull Me Out", with its airy, flying harmonies and paranoid intro. And of course "Reaching Out" is a 10 minute masterpiece, which is perhaps the best composition of the group. A magnificent thin and soulful voice, coupled with symphonic arrangements, turning into a harsh meditative psychedelic and ending with a powerful hysterical guitar explosion. All of the above is superbly combined and perfectly executed, because in any approach the group is much more competent than its "older brothers". And, as always, a beautiful album cover.
 Dissolution by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.92 | 252 ratings

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Dissolution
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

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.
 Where We Stood by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Live, 2017
3.95 | 28 ratings

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Where We Stood
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars In 2017, KScope released a great live performance, The Pineapple Thief, to coincide with the album "Your Wilderness". It included both tracks from the last album at that time, and compositions written at the beginning of the group's career.

It may seem surprising, but the concert is not inferior to Pink Floyd in its brilliance and sonority - only without unnecessary pompous overload. New and old things played with extraordinary colors, not to mention the recording of a very high level. Mainly thanks to the talents of Bruce Soord, who is amazingly powerful in his live shows. His voice became deeper, more angry, which adds some poignancy to a live performance. The songs began to sound more uncompromising and bright than on some studio recordings. And the drummer Gavin Harrison shows himself in all its glory, who modernized and slightly complicated the old songs of the group, recorded long before he came to this brilliant band. It sounds like it's played in it since the founding of PT, which speaks not only of incredible skill, but also of the ability to get along with people.

They were also joined during the tour by the extraordinary guitarist Darran Charles of Godsticks, which further enhanced The Pineapple Thief's unprecedented power and mastery. Strong, original, high quality or very subtle, or with humor - everything is in the best traditions of the ensemble. Also in the Deluxe edition there is a DVD movie with all the concert pieces. This set deserves attention not only for fans of the genre, but also for a wider audience of rock music lovers.

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.92 | 295 ratings

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Your Wilderness
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars One of the last and, in my opinion, the best (hopefully the best so far) albums.

Actually from this album my acquaintance with TPT began, at that time it was still a fresh release, I even managed to grab Deluxe.

Despite the depressing title, this album does not smell like a desert (and certainly an empty space). In my opinion, this is the pinnacle of the group's creative path, because it included all the facets of the talents of its participants.

But, unlike previous opuses, here the brightness is already evident. The album reflects all the moments of the musicians' creative path: both lyrical and experimental-extreme, heavy. The production has reached an unprecedented level, and the talents of Bruce Soord have increased even more, now he acts as a concept artist who dedicated the album to the disappearance of people from someone's life, loss, alienation. Moreover, the impossibility of keeping the person dear to you in your destiny. The guitar and song component is more and more reminiscent of Pink Floyd of the second half of the 70s, especially Bruce's vocals. Furthermore, by the will of fate, the brilliant drummer Porcupine Tree Gavin Harrison,

who played in the group from 2002 to 2010, joined the group. He enriched the sound with power and sophistication, bringing it to a metallic sheen. In addition, Gavin, with his "heavy hand", is very controllable and never pushes his style to the fore. It sounds like it was "cut out" for a Thief.

The group, as usual, kicks off powerfully.

Then comes the brilliant and unique "No Man's Land", with incredibly beautiful vocal harmonies and guitars, which from the middle just explodes with a kaleidoscope of drums and percussion. A handwriting that cannot be confused with anyone else. Like a reminder of the crossed out destinies left in memories and reddened photographs.

Furthermore, the incredible "That Shore" is an experimental piece, like the other side of TPT's talents. A dark, beautiful and tense thing, like the leitmotif of the whole album. It's not about rock at all, it's basically not much like that. And what is the voice, all the shades of human experiences in one minimalistic track.

Well, and "Final Thing On My Mind". This is the now classic Progressive Rock with all the shades and power it can get.

The rest of the compositions are hardly inferior to the above.

Bruce Soord uses his voice as a reliable tool to convey incredibly beautiful and complex intonations, while remaining a great guitarist.

And the album, perhaps, can be safely added to the golden fund of rock music, which has lifted the group from the underground category into the big stage, and it deserves it.

Furthermore, the edition is equipped with incredible photographs in order to highlight the concept.

 Versions of the Truth by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.75 | 82 ratings

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Versions of the Truth
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

4 stars Lovely paranoia and subtle last-minute pain.

"Versions of the Truth" is one of the most anticipated releases of this very interesting year. Still not in the top, but unlike 2018, they remembered the atmosphere and complexity. In fact, to clarify the situation with the new The Pineapple Thief CD "Versions of the Truth", it should be emphasized that the songs are increasingly reminiscent of Bruce Soord's solo work + The Pineapple Thief. Bruce's talents are still growing from year to year, both in terms of playing and in terms of working with sound. The fresh disc sounds juicy and surprisingly rich, which speaks of the band's final exit from the "indie monsters". Each piece is accompanied by powerful visuals worthy of the best Netflix tradition - although in this case it's just a metaphor. The songs are structured to create a halo of darkness, hidden fears, harassment and obsessions. And, as always, "heavy" compositions are complemented by light, melodic ones. Soord's ideas as a conceptualist are also gaining ambitious momentum. The album came out in one piece and the main idea is that the truth is currently absent, there are only versions of it. Each track is a separate version. Despite the venerable age of the group, the melodies still surprise with sudden explosive guitar inserts and abrupt transitions, albeit with an eye on themselves. Nothing is getting younger, but the group realizing this, decided to go from the other side, giving the world a lot of dark, deep and beautiful tracks, virtually eliminating any hint of "progressiveness". Now it looks more like a very smart and atmospheric "pop-rock", in which there is nothing superfluous. Attention should be paid to two tracks from the album.

"Break It All" is a characteristic heavy "locomotive" of the group, gloomy, beautiful, but not rushing at top speed, as before (which is not bad, but for me personally). Interesting guitar distortions, whipping up the atmosphere, catching high and emotional Bruce's vocals and beautiful lyrics ... True, all this was before, that's why it became the hallmark of the group. And the most important pearl is the ballad "Demons", which the musicians released as a single for the album. It tells the story of a person's obsession with the desire to get what does not belong to him. An attentive fan of the group should pay attention to the incredibly beautiful final part of the composition, permeated with a quiet and high-pitched guitar sound, against the background of which the phrase "Cos I've got demons. Yeah you should know. You put them in me. And I will not let them go" is repeated with regret and pain. The idea of obsession as a cause of disasters, crises, wars and violence - expressed in an incredibly sublime and mournful musical moment. An era without truth, where a freed demon can be in each of us. This is our dark and cruel era. All other compositions, as they say, are "at the proper level" and correspond to the spirit of "end of times".

The hard part for me in this whole story is none other than Gavin Harrison. It looks like the seasoned combat veteran Porcupine Tree has finally gotten completely tired and started to sound like your average "second-rate" drummer. Realization of this fact is extremely painful for me.

Throughout the entire album, not a single spectacular, powerful trademark characteristic of the previous records, which were richly decorated with his parts. He became like a tired pale shadow of himself, but, Thank God, his sluggish drums are correctly cut by the strong sound of the rest of the instruments and vocals. In any case, the disc demonstrates the creative death of one of the most (if not the most) first-rate drummers of our time. Though perhaps Bruce Soord's growing creative ambitions did exactly what was needed. Gavin is a prof and may have just been told "Play from here and up here", and he just did as he was told. And the next thing: for the second release in a row it comes out with an

absolutely boring booklet. Lyrics of songs are embossed on thick gray paper in an uninteresting font - that's all. This is a reason for authors to think seriously.

An interesting and a bit sad fact: the group, on the way to becoming superstars, alas, is transformed into an artifact that is interesting only to the MOST devoted fans of the group.

Because, despite the growing experience of musicians, they still use the old formula just like 10 years ago.

 Tightly Unwound by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.67 | 216 ratings

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Tightly Unwound
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Devolvator

5 stars To date, "Tightly Unwound" is The Pineapple Thief's second-most-complex and second-most-beautiful album. It can be called a kind of watershed between the conventionally early (heavy and minimalist) and mature (melodic and fully- fledged) periods. And it feels like a fast-paced rise in mastery. Here, in principle, there is not even the slightest hint that the disc is "mediocre". Music sounds beautiful, thoughtful, powerful and colorful. At the same time, it is not devoid of improvisational intonations, coupled with electronic avant-garde. The album seems to be recorded in one breath - in the best traditions of LED ZEPPELIN. He absorbed the best moments of both classics of the genre and contemporaries, while remaining in a trendy key.

Composition Different World seems to float in the clouds, dipping the listener into crystal sadness. Dizziness. While listening, you get the feeling that you have returned to distant childhood and began to rotate on the carousel for a long time, catching blurry sun glare with your eyes, when you are happy and do not know what to do (this is what the song says). And the melodiously regretful acoustic The Sorry State, with hysterical and warm vocals that mockingly heralds someone's downfall. Then the middle is interrupted by a hard rock guitar and "ricky-ticky" drums.

And the most important "So Say All Of You" is one of PT's coolest and most pushful songs, which should be included in 10 platinum songs of neo-prog since 1991. Incredible lyrics and a gloomy, hysterical, almost crying voice, as if tearing into an abyss and apocalyptic, like a burning sunset, mellotrons, coupled with cold hard drums and distorted guitars. All this creates an amazing feeling of falling into the abyss, while done so masterfully and voluminously that it becomes a little creepy. And at the end of the 14-minute epic "Too Much Too lose", which I do not recommend listening to alone. The beginning is quite positive and non-binding - it can make you fall asleep, but by the middle of the composition, the music is flooded with such eerie and ominous notes that it can fit into a terrible art house. In the future, all this gradually develops into a tough psychedelic apocalypse, with incredible guitar and drum sketches. It's like early Pink Floyd merged with Muse, only on a subtler path.

In other words, the album allows you to transfer the group from the category of "second-rate" to rock monsters: gentle, beautiful, melodic and dark, cruel, aggressive, complex in one bottle. As befits thinkers from prog music.

 Versions of the Truth by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.75 | 82 ratings

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Versions of the Truth
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by lukretio

3 stars I have been following The Pineapple Thief since their 2012 album, All the Wars ' a stunning combination of alt-rock accessibility and progressive sensibilities (think Porcupine Tree meets Smashing Pumpkins). I bought and liked all their subsequent albums (Magnolia, Your Wilderness, Dissolution), where TPT continued to perfection their classy blend of melodic crossover prog-rock. However, I did not really love any of these albums, mostly because I found that they did not really offer too much lasting listening value: it's music that I like quite a lot when I first hear it, but that after a month is almost inevitably forgotten. Despite this, I continue to buy TPT's records, because sometimes I just want to put on a more straightforward album, which maintains the sophistication of prog without bearing its typical inaccessibility. And if it does not have long-term listening value, so be it: sometimes it is just fun to enjoy the moment. And TPT are great in delivering music achieving just that.

This long premise is to say that with their new album, Versions of the Truth, TPT have subverted my expectations about their music. This record is not as easy to approach as their previous albums. It demands more attention and perseverance because it is not an album easy to like on first listen. I think there are two main reasons for this.

First, the song arrangements have become sparser and terser. It's an album where the rhythm section provides most of the instrumental background (drums mostly, but also marimba and occasional percussions and sound effects), and even then there are lots of pauses and empty spaces in the songs. Of course, a benefit of this approach is that we can focus our attention on the sensational drumming of Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson). But this choice of arrangements also means that musically there isn't an awful lot going on and the album does come across as somewhat colorless.

Second, on Version of the Truth, TPT seem to have consciously decided to refrain as much as possible from resolving the songs using the signature melodic climaxes that have made several of their previous songs instantly likeable and easy to assimilate. On this album, the songs build and build tension without ever quite releasing it. The result is that the music feels deprived of emotions and unrelatable. Perhaps this was an intentional choice to match the bleak and grave lyrical theme of the album, but it is neverhtless a big departure from TPT's usual approach to songwriting.

These changes in sound were a surprise to me, both in a positive and negative way. They surprised me positively because I feel that, by stepping away from their tried-and-true formula, TPT have stumbled on a new, more austere but also more mature sound that could be quite interesting to develop further to see where it leads. However, and here lies the negative surprise, I am not quite sure that this album succeeds in creating something truly captivating with this new sound. Going through the album one has the nagging impression of having embarked on a voyage that is potentially exciting but does not lead yet anywhere.

There are some exceptions, of course. Most notably, the opening and closing tracks are by far the most accomplished songs on the album. The album closer, 'The Game', in particular is hauntingly beautiful, with its downcast mood that reminds me of the gorgeously depressing closer of Porcupine Tree's Stupid Dream album, 'Stop Swimming'. The rest of the album, however, falls a bit flat. In particular, the middle section of the record (after 'Demons', the only track that harks back to the classic TPT sound) contains a series of songs that alternate between angular uptempos that lack strong melodies and mellower ballads that tend to put the listener to sleep. It is quite hard to tell these songs apart from one another. You could switch them around in the tracklist and I would probably not notice, despite having listened to the album a couple of dozen times by now.

Overall, I come away from this album with mixed feelings. I liked to see the band challenging themselves with a new sound, after a string of albums that were all a bit samey. However, I was also not too impressed with what they did with this new sound on this album, as I feel they did not yet manage to use it in a way to deliver something really interesting and compelling. I will nevertheless remain interested in what TPT's next move will be, as I have hopes that they will manage to develop this new sound into something fresh and exciting.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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