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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)

3.39 | 89 ratings
Abducting the Unicorn [Aka: Abducted at Birth]
1999
3.26 | 91 ratings
137 [Aka: One Three Seven]
2002
3.26 | 162 ratings
Variations On A Dream
2003
2.48 | 58 ratings
12 Stories Down
2004
3.31 | 109 ratings
10 Stories Down
2005
3.76 | 177 ratings
Little Man
2006
3.86 | 245 ratings
What We Have Sown
2007
3.66 | 221 ratings
Tightly Unwound
2008
3.57 | 282 ratings
Someone Here Is Missing
2010
3.70 | 197 ratings
All The Wars
2012
3.64 | 189 ratings
Magnolia
2014
3.92 | 311 ratings
Your Wilderness
2016
3.98 | 266 ratings
Dissolution
2018
3.46 | 110 ratings
Versions of the Truth
2020

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

3.50 | 4 ratings
Live 2003
2003
3.57 | 14 ratings
Someone Here Is Live
2010
4.25 | 12 ratings
Live At The 013
2013
4.09 | 11 ratings
Live 2014
2015
3.98 | 34 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 | 55 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
4.29 | 17 ratings
Shoot first
2008
3.92 | 29 ratings
The Dawn Raids (Part 1)
2009
3.87 | 27 ratings
The Dawn Raids (Part Two)
2009
3.67 | 18 ratings
Show A Little Love
2010
4.60 | 5 ratings
Nothing At Best
2010
4.00 | 23 ratings
Build A World
2013

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Versions of the Truth by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.46 | 110 ratings

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Versions of the Truth
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the masterpiece that was Dissolution, Pinneaple Thief returned with Versions of the Truth!

However, the British are not able to replicate the quality of their two previous works, mainly due to the abuse of slow songs that end up offering an irregular and sometimes even boring experience.

In spite of everything, if you like the stage of the band with Gavin Harrison, you will enjoy some songs that remind us of the best moments of Dissolution, with whose discarded songs this Versions of the Truth surely was woven together.

Best Tracks: Versions of the Trugh, Break It All, Demons, Leve Me Be and Our Mire... The rest are dull mid- tempos.

My Rating: ***

 Dissolution by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.98 | 266 ratings

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Dissolution
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by 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: *****

 Versions of the Truth by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.46 | 110 ratings

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Versions of the Truth
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Back in 1993 I became aware of a band called Vulgar Unicorn, and after reviewing their demo tapes was pleased when they signed a deal and went on to release CDs. Then guitarist Bruce Soord started a side project called Pineapple Thief (no "The" in the early days) and released 'Abducting The Unicorn' (get it?) in 1999. Back then it was basically Bruce, and I don't think any of us imagined that not only would The Pineapple Thief still be going all these years later but that they would be releasing albums through a major label such as Kscope. It is the same line-up as the last few albums, so joining Bruce (guitar, vocals) is Steve Kitch (keyboards), Jon Sykes (bass) and Gavin Harrison (drums).

I have not heard any of their albums since 2012's 'All The Wars', which has the same line-up apart from Gavin, and I really enjoyed that one so what would this one be like? I think the only way to describe this is that it is pleasant in a non-threatening and non-compelling manner. Everything is, well, nice. Everyone is playing well, but there is little in the way of emotion and in many ways, and when at the end of "Demons" Bruce sings "it was only supposed to be a short- term thing" I wonder if he is really singing about the band itself. When one thinks of the lyrics in that way, then quite a few of the numbers taken on a different light, such as "Driving Like Maniacs". It feels prog lite; this is never going to upset anyone but at the same time it is not going to drive much excitement either. Given my history with the early days of the band I was really excited about the opportunity of hearing this, but I came away relatively unimpressed. As I said, it is nice and gentle, but I need more than that.

 Versions of the Truth by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.46 | 110 ratings

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Versions of the Truth
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by arriving

4 stars Ah, The Pineapple Thief. I'm still trying to work out whether the "most underrated band in the world" moniker, inherited from their slightly more accomplished and much more defunct cousin Porcupine Tree, is meant to celebrate hidden genius or the fact that anybody who might dispute it doesn't seem to have heard of them. Their habitually biennial "new studio album" release is treated with enough fanfare to assure us of their competence, but never enough conviction as to persuade us we've got anything reaching "masterpiece" status. This is a shame, because some of their records come pretty close. This one isn't really one of them, but, in short, it's still very listenable, ahead of their 'mainstream' competitors and worth the cost. So, on the one hand, this is a pop album. Well, kind of alternative rock, but inoffensive enough that the "alternative" label serves more to justify low sales than demark some uncompromising musical iconoclasm. We have "singles" with "videos", each following a lethargically familiar "verse-chorus-repeat-other-bit-chorus" pattern, but don't switch off. We have nothing creeping past the eight-minute mark for only the second time ever (after the similarly solid alt-rock "Magnolia"), no real displays of virtuosity and no real climactic explosions that these guys used to give us. We have a kind of concept, the malleability, contingency, ambiguity and multiplicity of truth in the modern world. Which involves fascinating ideas, but is still the stupid person's idea of a 'clever concept', and the second-rate-lyricist Bruce Soord predictably turns it into an excuse for pseudo-intelligent divorce songs. No, please don't switch off. What we have instead is one of the most consistent bands ever formed pushing their own distinctive sound towards its logical, mature conclusion, with a selection of mostly excellent songs. Musicologists, or so I'm told, in trying to make sense of the good, bad, and (mainly) disappointing of the 2010s in music, have pointed to MINIMALISM as the primary ascendent quality. This is the age of earbuds and introspection (particularly closer to 2020 than 2010), and anthemic 'bangers' no longer really cut it. What you need is an 'anti-chorus', dipping BELOW the verse in intensity, which creates a far more intimate musical experience for the sensitive listener. This means the meticulously insane maximalism of, say, "What Have We Sown?", is out, and with it, the Pineapple Thief's signature slow-build. Or, more to the point, we build to climaxes that never come. The title track is perfect. This band have a history of brilliant album openers, and this is no exception. Glistening, echoey, ethereal chords disperse into an opening line, "You caught me in the black light", that oozes cool until you think too carefully. Then we get Gavin Harrison [insert gushing praise], but, where some were probably expecting him to casually throw in an extraordinary break, instead offers?marimba [Ed. typo? No, wait, marimba?]. After some more (half-decent) wounded post-truth ramblings alongside impeccably considered backing from the band, we begin driving forward with more intent. Soord's poor poetry actually sounds amazing in the "scattered voices" section (although I'm inclined to blame the music). More chorus, and then minimalist marimba outro before it all just stops. Excellent song, excellent video. "Break It All", the second single, has another strong video (although is this really where they're spending the money? Apparently it was sponsored by Gavin's drum manufacturers, so we'll let them off). Similar lyrical themes, too many riffs, chugging darkness in the music, relatively boring verses, anti-choruses, but one of the best instrumentals in the band's oeuvre rips open the song's middle. I'm going to throw in words like "claustrophobia", "Phrygian", "OMG Gavin!", "stormclouds", "polyrhythms" (alright, not *that* impressively), but ultimately only listening to it can do it justice. The lead single comes in third. Many people love this song; it's taken me slightly more effort, but I'm beginning to see the appeal. The verses have a brilliant, incongruously bright but latently poisonous descending melody, and the chorus exemplifies tasteful use of major sevenths as catharsis [alright, that sounded less pretentious in my head]. Yet another strong song. Fourth, "Driving Like Maniacs" exemplifies the minimalist tendencies. Self-consciously balladic, wistful, and above all, mournful, the dark symbolism of "one more corner to go" is a probably inadvertent delight. The tempo is perhaps a tad too slow, and the drum sound frustrating, but beautiful overall. Check out the similar, and superior, "Out of Line" in eighth position, which uses empty space to excellent effect, exuding sophistication and restraint, and a haunting solo. Fifth, the first "new" song, and it's excellent, clean and brooding, similar in vibe to "Demons". Another case of every note carefully and tastefully chosen, but with atmosphere remaining this album's defining strength. Along with disappointing marimba number "Stop Making Sense", the lacklustre "Too Many Voices" represents the weakest point on a strong album. But matters are salvaged by the prog-pretender "Our Mire". Gavin shines, a sense of energy and purpose pervades the track, with enough hooks and metre shifts to satisfy the whole spectrum of tastes. Guitars ring beautifully, and the last minute is just beautiful (reminiscent of Wilson's glory years). Then the closing track, "The Game", is probably the best of the bunch. One reviewer namechecked Porcupine Tree's "Stop Swimming"; to me, this sounds much more like Radiohead's "Videotape", with the insistent minor-key piano, atmospheric, hypnotically repetitive percussion, indistinct builds and rage cooled and fossilised as resignation. A grower, one of The Pineapple Thief's strongest ever tracks, and the best example of their new-found minimalism working perfectly. To describe it as essential would defeat the intentions of such a restrained collection of songs, but accusations of laziness by those who mistake maximalism for sincerity are unfounded, and any lower seems harsh. Not their best, but easily good enough. On any scale, Progarchives' or otherwise, this screams four stars.
 Abducting the Unicorn [Aka: Abducted at Birth] by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.39 | 89 ratings

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Abducting the Unicorn [Aka: Abducted at Birth]
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by arriving

3 stars There's no doubt that Bruce Soord is one of the strongest and most consistent songwriters operating in that prog-leaning alt-rock niche, and he trumps the Yorkes and (just about) Wilsons with his guitar work, both rhythm and lead, if not in inspiration. Over the course of well over 10 hours of PINEAPPLE THIEF material, there are very few genuinely weak efforts, and even fewer, if any, are unforgivable. So when I declare this to be, on balance, the least essential of the band's releases, that criticism reveals more about the height of the bar than the quality of this record. SMASHING PUMPKINS but with flashes of prog? RADIOHEAD but less concise? Post-grunge PINK FLOYD? Stupid-Dream-era PORCUPINE TREE but less...amazing?

Originally titled "Abducted at Birth" (and re-released as such in 2010 by Kscope), the record was hijacked by the label (neglecting to realise that many listeners, even those open to the avant-garde, would rather forget VULGAR UNICORN, and fans of that project [to whom I offer my apologies] would presumably have heard about Soord's new project anyway). We got a better title (the original) and cover art on re-release.

The great news about this album is that the feedback was positive enough that Soord committed to THE PINEAPPLE THIEF. Better still, the music, while listenable here, got even better and more focused after this. The songs (eight, plus one) are, without exception, stretched to breaking point, leaving a pretty bloated album weighed down terribly in the middle by, to be honest, mediocre songs looped excessively with slightly over-protracted progression. The worst of the bunch (of TPT's discography, not just the album), "No One Leaves This Earth" and "Everyone Must Perish", at times resemble ill-judged TEARS-FOR-FEARS instrumental B-sides, and replace "song" with "alien" to create something strangely memorable, and not without merit, but not particularly melodic or praiseworthy. Two more bog-standard albeit listenable songs are shown up by their 6-minute-plus runtimes ("Whatever?" and "Judge the Girl"), and "Punish Yourself" successfully fuses Britpop's generic progressions and melodies with the angst of the grunge it superseded, with relatively strong results.

"Mysterious Extra Track" (or "Untitled") is a lot better than it sounds, but what saves this pretty non-descript collection are the two epics and single-candidate "Drain" (as a shorter edit, of course). Epic closer "Parted Forever" leaps into the cool waters of dreamy, Floydian prog, sounding like PORCUPINE TREE's "Radioactive Toy" stretched into oblivion, but the warm-cold passages are oddly hypnotic. Again, it would probably work better with six minutes or so shaved off, but exactly which six minutes is up for debate. This is definitely the track of choice for committed prog-fans, and we don't get anything as long or ambitious until "What We Have Sown"'s superlative near-title track nearly a decade later, but this is probably the Thief's least well-produced and inspired epic of the lot.

But, for me, the opener is the highlight. "Private Paradise", despite having the most bloated length-to-ideas balance of all amongst stiff competition, just works. Great beat, strummed guitars abounding around programmed drums (which get old as the album wears on), alt-rock that skims along brilliantly through twelve brilliant minutes, with genuinely one of the best-thought-out guitar solos I've heard in a while closing it all off. This is the one track that made it onto the 3000 Days compilation (while we're at it, that's probably the most "essential" pre-Kscope release), for good reason. As such, while 3/5 feels slightly harsh for such a competent and promising selection of material, "good, but non-essential" feels about right.

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.92 | 311 ratings

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Your Wilderness
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The first The Pineapple Thief album after the incorporation of the outstanding Gavin Harrison on drums!

And after the just ok "Magnolia", I have to say that this album was a big leap in the right direction. The complex Harrison's rhythms are perfectly harmonized with the great Soord's guitars and the songs are catchier, more diverse and harder than before, introducing great riffs which reminds a bit of Porcupine Tree, but moodier and more alternative rock oriented too.

The Soord's production of the album is also excellent, bringing this band to a whole new level and making them definitely win a well-deserved place among the best prog-rock acts today.

Good job, guys!

Best Tracks: In Exile (incredible guitars towards the end), Tear You Up (a showcase of Harrison's abilities), Take Your Shot (typical Pineapple style with another excellent guitar solo) and Fend for Yourself (great clarinet played by Supertramp's John Helliwell)

My Rating: ****

 Versions of the Truth by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.46 | 110 ratings

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Versions of the Truth
The Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

1 stars The Pineapple Thief album Versions of the Truth represents a further departure from any progressive sound and continues to deliver lifeless pop/rock songs with the influence of alternative rock sound. The band took a safe path and more direct approach on this album and trough out is lacking diversity and it feels less focused and rushed.

Is this even a prog rock release, for me no, there is no epics, no memorable parts, no far-reaching solos not one bit of boldness in music just a pop rock album.

This album for me represents one more step backward and I really don't think I will pay any attention to this band anymore.

 What We Have Sown by PINEAPPLE THIEF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.86 | 245 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
3.76 | 177 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 | 282 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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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