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Pineapple Thief biography
The guitarist 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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Your WildernessYour Wilderness
Kscope 2016
Audio CD$9.02
$7.82 (used)
Someone Here Is MissingSomeone Here Is Missing
Kscope 2010
Audio CD$9.19
$8.67 (used)
Tightly UnwoundTightly Unwound
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$11.84
$55.99 (used)
What We Have SownWhat We Have Sown
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$7.47
$9.73 (used)
Kscope 2014
Audio CD$8.78
$7.99 (used)
Little ManLittle Man
Kscope 2011
Audio CD$16.85
3000 Days3000 Days
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.12
$7.95 (used)
One Three SevenOne Three Seven
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$8.49
$7.97 (used)
All the WarsAll the Wars
Kscope 2012
Audio CD$8.99
$11.31 (used)
Recall Records UK 2014
Audio CD$4.83
$7.30 (used)
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Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.48 | 62 ratings
Abducting The Unicorn
3.25 | 65 ratings
3.21 | 122 ratings
Variations On A Dream
2.41 | 39 ratings
12 Stories Down
3.34 | 79 ratings
10 Stories Down
3.79 | 125 ratings
Little Man
3.90 | 194 ratings
What We Have Sown
3.64 | 175 ratings
Tightly Unwound
3.58 | 224 ratings
Someone Here is Missing
3.71 | 140 ratings
All The Wars
3.62 | 110 ratings
3.93 | 84 ratings
Your Wilderness

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

3.67 | 3 ratings
Live 2003
3.52 | 12 ratings
Someone Here Is Live
4.33 | 9 ratings
Live At The 013
4.00 | 7 ratings
Live 2014

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

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

3.92 | 46 ratings
3000 Days
3.17 | 5 ratings
Introducing ...The Pineapple Thief

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Sherbet Gods
3.83 | 9 ratings
4 Stories Down
0.00 | 0 ratings
Limited Edition Free CD
4.15 | 13 ratings
Shoot first
3.85 | 28 ratings
The Dawn Raids (Part 1)
3.82 | 25 ratings
The Dawn Raids (Part Two)
3.71 | 17 ratings
Show A Little Love
4.67 | 3 ratings
Nothing At Best
4.00 | 18 ratings
Build A World


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 84 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I've felt for sometime that Bruce Soord's lyrics were very personal and the perfect example is the "Little Man" album where you can read my feelings on the lyrics in my review and they don't get much more personal than that unless you count this one perhaps. Here we have a theme about lost love and how he has been driven to the wilderness of life, in exile, in no man's land, yes the song titles alone reveal much. It's the lyrics though that talk about a breakup and I can only assume it's about Bruce and his wife. It could be about me and my wife which of course makes this album about as personal to me as it possibly could be. There's been plenty of tears while listening to this album, it couldn't possibly be more meaningful to me or come at a better time as for the first time in my life feeling like I'm living alone in exile, in no man's land or in my wilderness. Even the cover art with the wife and daughter looking towards the wilderness is meaningful, are they looking for someone who has been sent away?

Bruce had said in an interview I read last summer that he had gotten away from his Prog roots on the last few PINEAPPLE THIEF albums and this is the recording where he has embraced his love for Prog that he's had since he was a kid. Bringing in drummer Gavin Harrison(PORCUPINE TREE) to replace recently departed drummer Dan Osborne doesn't hurt of course, in fact it's huge. Geoffrey Richardson(CARAVAN) adds strings, John Helliwell(SUPERTRAMP) adds clarinet and Darran Charles(GODSTICKS) was brought in to play the more complex guitar parts, and I noticed he was in the video for the opening track "In Exile". The results are far better than I imagined. Yes the emotional element is huge for me with the lyrics but the atmosphere is at times massive. Lots of reverb and depth to the sound. Also Bruce's vocals are different this time around as he sings in a higher register most of the time and his vocals come across as fragile much of the time, plus the vocal melodies and harmonies really add a different flavour to their sound.

"In Exile" opens with drums as the vocals and mellotron join in quickly. Nice prominent bass a minute in, harmonies too as this is quite catchy. The guitar solo before 3 minutes brings PORCUPINE TREE to mind as random drum patterns help out, then it all kicks back in. Nice. The final one plus minute is all instrumental and really enjoyable. "No Man's Land" is a top three but each tune is special in my opinion. Acoustic guitar and fragile vocals to start along with relaxed harmonies as the keys join in. Just before 2 1/2 minutes we get silence then vocal melodies and some power arrive quickly. They sort of start and stop until it kicks in hard at 3 1/2 minutes to the end. This one is so emotional for me.

"Tear You Up" is another top three. Intricate guitar work to start but it's blown away by some strong drum work and more. It then settles back with vocals. Such a moving chorus(gulp). "And now I'm drifting on the open sea, what's left of me." Checkout the heaviness 3 minutes in, so unusual for a PINEAPPLE THIEF album. So good! And it lasts for about a minute. "I can't tear you up, I cannot tear you up, all those currents run to you, back to you." "That Shore" opens with some beautiful atmosphere as drums and deep sounds join in followed by fragile vocals. Man the soundscape vibrates from the thick atmosphere. This one's all about the mood and those heart breaking lyrics.

"Take Your Shot" kicks in well before a minute but check out the bass and other sounds that it starts with. I do like the harmonies and vocal melodies on this one. It's so catchy as well. It picks up after 2 minutes, man this is good! "You held me down and took the fight to the heart of my life, you set me up all of this time, yeah you did this". "Fend For Yourself" opens with strummed guitar and reserved vocals. "Go fend for yourself, you will find me frozen in stone, with a whisper you had flown and never looked back". A melancholic clarinet solo before 2 minutes is perfect here. Vocal melodies follow as the song and lady fade away.

"The Final Thing On My Mind" is my final top three. Wow this one clocks in at almost 10 minutes. Picked guitar as drums join in then vocals before a minute. I have to say the vocal arrangements are so well done on this album. There's so much depth of sound here and those vocal melodies add so much to my enjoyment. The intensity is building before 3 1/2 minutes as the strings join in. This is insane! Then a calm with picked guitar only takes over. The vocals are back a minute later. The lyrics here break my heart all over again. "Every waking dawn it's you I see, coming back to me. Everything you did is a part of me, ripped apart from me". It kicks in after 8 1/2 minutes including some scorching guitar. "Where We Stood" ends the album in an emotional and sad way as we get strummed guitar and reserved vocals standing out. Some soaring guitar too. Again check out the lyrics.

Without question this will be near the top or right at the top of my "best of" list for 2016. Whenever music touches me like this it's almost like having a moment with God.

 What We Have Sown by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.90 | 194 ratings

What We Have Sown
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars What We Have Sown is a fantastic album. First off, you get an album that ends with "What Have We Sown?" as a 28 minute epic of progressive rock heaven. I must have two bonus tracks with track 7 "You Sign Out" and track 8 with "Before It Costs Us." While the epic ending is great, these two extra tracks are also very good. The song writing is fantastic, with sublime vocals and stellar musicianship supporting an addicting progressive rock album. A new album can get me interested in a group, and it was Your Wilderness that has me exploring their back catalog. I have all of their albums starting at Little Man, and I believe that either "What We Have Sown" or "Tightly Unwound" are the two best. However, I think this entire run of albums is solid and worth checking out. As far as "What We Have Sown," I would say it is a must for people interested in a more crossover approach to progressive rock. Anyone that likes Radiohead and Porcupine Tree would find great treasures in the lair of the Pineapple Thief. 4.5 stars
 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 84 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album got me out of my mutism.

I actually read a review in a Quebec newspaper saying this art-rock album was the sh...the bomb I mean. I said 'Oh well, it's probably overrated, but let's give it a try'...Boy, am I glad I did. I never got really into the Pineapple Trip, and frankly they always seemed to me another band catching the Porcupine Virus. Well, they indeed pay tribute to Wilson and Co. but in a very convincing way. Very, very convincing way. Yes, they are that good.

All in beauty and (pardon my french) retenue, they are not exploding but imploding gently. The Pineapple Gang is very capable of letting the beast roar here and there, but surprisingly, this album is not so rock but oscillating between the rock and mellow. By mellow I mean 'rainy' or 'eerie', at least 'foggy'.

Beauty, retenue and rainy, whatever the formula is, it bullseyed. A beautifully crafted with no tracks to throw away, gently sang by a convincing Soord who will grow on me as the replays go. I say go with this eyes closed. It does not need a long review, it is at it is: the best album Porcupine Tree never released.

When the Porcupine is sleeping the Pineapple dances.

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 84 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK threesome THE PINEAPPLE THIEF has been a feature in the UK rock and progressive rock scene since the tail end of the 1990's. releasing new albums at a steady pace and maintaining a fairly well established fan-base worldwide as well from what I understand. "Your Wilderness" is their most recent studio album, and was released through renowned UK label Kscope in August 2016.

Those with an interest in the more indie rock oriented takes on the progressive rock genre should find much to love on this latest studio production by The Pineapple Thief. This isn't the kind of album that use overly dramatic effects or pompous arrangements to create moods and atmospheres, but rather opts to explore landscapes of a more delicate and melancholic general nature. Perhaps more of a mainstream oriented affair if regarded in a more superficial manner, but with liberal amounts of subtle details that makes the end result a rather more sophisticated venture than you'll initially get the impression of.

Just about all the songs have something of an ebb and flow structure to them, and sparse, delicate recurring sequences is something of a red thread throughout. This approach is explored in many different manners however, but just about all the compositions opens with a gentle touch. Dampened instruments or sparse instrument arrangements paired off with the emotionally laden, frail lead vocals of Bruce Soord is a recurring feature, with songs then either slowly building up towards a more intense expression or a song alternating between more stark, contrasting gentle and fleshed out arrangements the main variations encountered.

The vocals often gives these songs, especially in the gentler passages, something of a Radiohead vibe, while the more sophisticated, multiple layered ones gives the compositions something more of a Porcupine Tree vibe. On this occasion there are tracks that heads off into other directions as well, the more vibrant landscapes explored in Tear You Up can be mentioned, as well as the subtly intense, slightly Tom Petty flavored piece Take Your Shot. Some nice, softly jazz-tinged details are included in the calmer, darker toned Fend For Yourself as well, further expanding the total scope of this album.

At the end of the day this album is dominated by the gentler, melancholic and fragile moods however, with frail, emotionally haunting landscapes and soft melancholic movements the key characteristic traits defining this production. Besides existing fans, I'd suggest that those fond of the calmer parts of the Radiohead back catalogue and those fascinated by the gentler parts of Porcupine Tree's material would be something of an ideal crowd for this CD.

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 84 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Porcupineapple

2 stars Your Wilderness - the album, where me and my old favourite, Pineapple thief, part ways.

I am not saying the album is bad. In fact, anyone with a fancy for pop-rock or indie might find it worthwile for a listen or two. What I am saying is that this talented band, which was once retracing the footsteps of Porcupine tree's early phase with such elegance and brilliance, throwing in a fair deal of truly unique style along the way, has now ultimately drowned its talent in mediocre prog-pop sounds, with no way back.

OK, but let's look at the bright side first of having a new PT album out. There are some catchy melodies here and there built on the backbone of some good guitar work. Bruce Soord is still a decent songwriter, even if he might have reached out to the wrong corners of his playlist for inspiration this time. In any case, the songs still have a decent structure, whilst the mild guitar riffage is backed up by some some new-found, sweet orchestral arrangements. These, all in all, do result in a few semi-enjoyable songs. 'No man's land' is a listenable piece with a good build-up into a decent final, which even takes the courage to tear up the good old 4/8 time signature for a second. 'That shore', albeit cheesy to its limits, succeeds to find its way to the listener with its rather haunting atmosphere. And lastly, 'Fend for yourself' manages to disrupt the monotonness of the album with an out-of-the-blue and rather amazing solo. Most of the other songs do nothing but pull down the album into bittersweet mediocrity - even when measured against other non-progrock albums.

But I have a bigger problem, too. Even if Your wilderness is a somewhat decent listen, I am struggling to get over the fact that it comes from a band, which once gave us the haunting classics of What we have sown and Little man. No decent band is allowed the luxury of not having to experiment and venture into new musical styles once in a while - but when a band like this trades its talent in for the ever easy way of becoming an indie band (and does even that wrong), I stop to have respect for them. And this time not even my all-time fav drummer, Gavin Harrison (guest-drumming here), can save the day.

So if anyone is after a fresh, accessible delight between two heavier albums of the summer, Your wilderness might partly get the job done even through its mediocre moments. If, on the other hand, there are any fans of the band here who have been with Pineapple thief throuh thick and thin, and are still expecting something from them: do yourself a favour, and steer back to their old classics instead of dwelling into this one - you will save yourself from a sizeable disappointment.

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 84 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by Returnity

5 stars Rejoice Porcupine Tree fans, who are abandoned by their prog icon Steven Wilson! Pineapple Thief is here to save your souls!

I must admit that I've never been a fan of The Pineapple Thief, which frankly also amazes me, since theoretically this band has most of the elements I like in prog music. Moody, atmospheric, melodic and experimental music should be fun, right? No, I checked each of their albums many times in the hopes of finding a new favorite band, but I failed miserably. While I always felt that the main influence in their music was Porcupine Tree, somehow the music did not click, although I definitely adore Porcupine Tree.

This time, it's different. So different that it made me write my first review for this site after many years of readership and my hiatus in music journalism. This is the first Pineapple Thief album, that IMHO does "everything" right. The inclusion of Gavin Harrison is probably one of the most important factors in elevating their music to new heights but of course there is more to it than that. Crystal clear production, Geoffrey Richardson's breathtaking string arrangements, Darran Charles' amazingly concise and effective solos really shine and above all Soord's songwriting has IMHO considerably matured, which resulted in interesting song structures and also infectious melodies. This is something very hard to achieve, and those who can do this, mostly become prog icons of our age (I'm looking at you Mr. Wilson).

Speaking of Steven Wilson, I always felt that Bruce Soord subconsciously aspired to become the next Wilson of our time and this is the first time that he passed this exam with full marks IMHO. The music in Your Wilderness can be summarized like this: Imagine the latter day Porcupine Tree, take away the excessive heaviness and instead put more tendencies towards modern british rock/indie music with some pop sensibilities into the cauldron and voila! Since most of us crave for a new Porcupine Tree album, this album felt like an oasis in the desert. Yes, nothing groundbreaking here, nothing new to hear but this is the most "complete" album in this style since 2008. The only flaw? It's so damn' short!

I'm not a fan of track by track reviews and will never do anything like that but Your Wilderness is an album which is greater than the sum of its parts. I've never found a moment where my amazement ceased in this magnum opus thus I don't hesitate to give it five stars. Recommended for Porcupine Tree fans!

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 84 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog


2 stars Very disappointing effort. PT are moving more into pop music/commercial prog area. Not much progressive. Lots of boring mid temp dross which sounds like a desperate attempt to be the new Coldplay. The only real attempt at serious progressive rock comes in the form of the more extended "The Final Thing On My Mind. But this too suffers from a listless performance and an overwhelming mood of form over substance. Looks like PR is looking to move into a more commercial format, which is a shame given the great material produced in the first few albums. There are few tracks here that impress. The overwhelming Coldplay feel is the thing that stands out the most on this effort.
 Little Man by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.79 | 125 ratings

Little Man
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

 What We Have Sown by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.90 | 194 ratings

What We Have Sown
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Vulgar Unicorn was a delightfully crafty and original British group that released a slew of albums between 1995 and 2004 that subsequently vanished into the ether. Headed by multi-instrumentalists Bruce 'Adrian' Soord and Neil Randall , their craft was quite quirky and oft misunderstood by the general prog public but upon closer analysis, records such as 'Jet Set Radio', 'Sleep With the Fishes' and their debut 'Under the Umbrella' were quite ground breaking and often loads of fun. Then, one fine day in 2002, Soord decided to kick off his Pineapple Thief career with the delectable 'Abducting the Unicorn', a rather accurate and seemingly acerbic title in view of the upcoming split between the two VU leaders. I personally love that album a great deal, owning a different sound but still infused with VU cleverness and wit. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, I never could get into 'Variations on A Dream' and have struggled on every revisit ever since, it just won't stick! So I did something quite stupid in retrospect, I gave up on the 'Fruity Robber' and looked elsewhere, in apparent disinterest. I saw the reviews of all their other albums, all this mention of Radiohead and Muse (2 bands I have only cursory knowledge of, as I have not listened to garbage commercial radio for a quarter of a century now!) but nothing could quite enthuse me enough to investigate further. Big mistake, as my recent purchase of a used copy of 'What Have we Sown' penetrated my car stereo with almost palpable ennui and having zero expectations, I was simply bowled over! While certainly more mainstream-oriented than the often odd-ball VU releases, the material nevertheless possesses a smooth and moody yet propulsive quality which my somnolent sensors picked up immediately and I started to fall under the spell of superb melodies, passionate vocals that do remind me of Thom Yorke (I do know what he sounds like) or whichever Gallagher (Liam or Noel, me not know) but also some tremendous bass (Jon Sykes) and fabulous drum support (Keith Harrison) that caught my attention in a great way. The keyboard applications from Steve Kitch are slick, unobtrusive and very modern with oodles of mellotron samples, which will always make my day brighter. That being said, the dual guitars of Wayne Higgins and the master himself (always an outstanding fret boardist) is quite the revelation and propels the arrangements with verve and gusto.

The finale title track is tectonic slab of an epic, clocking in at over 27 minutes and while quite mellow in most parts, the contrasts are always challenging and 'staying on ones toes'-worthy, stretching the sonic envelope and searching out further playing fields. The entire spectrum of emotions are canvased on a rather large screen that never exasperates or even hints at the slightest tinge of boredom, even though things get very mellow and Floydian at times, which is why I refer to this as a worthy modern-day version of 'Echoes'. Lots of moody electronic beeping, robotic sizzles and a massive drum beat really set the pace, evolving, growing, expanding like some experiment gone haywire, very intoxicating indeed. The nasty e-guitar has a sharp metallic tinge, like some chainsaw gone amok, full of effects and mood tones. Haunting and macabre, the atmosphere is frightening at times, stretching the angst until some sinuous vocal-fueled reprieve shows its sweetness where Bruce's voice is eerily reminiscent of Xavier Phideaux, in a most uncanny way. The recurring chorus is addictive to the nth degree, soothing yet disturbing, loaded with overt regret and unmitigated pain. The soaring guitar solo is staggering in its unassuming beauty, insistent and aching, an iconic blast of genius. Steve Kitch then introduces a piano to his already imposing arsenal of ivories and the spellbinding splurge is equally sensational. This is where the slick arrangement takes on mythical proportions, getting very explosive and aggressive, sequencers ablaze with frenzy, the bass guitar up-front and center, carving out a highway to hell on which all instrumental vehicles will follow, chiming 'rifferama' guitars and mind-numbing pounding from the drum kit. Ka-boom! The sonic slow-building crescendo is a piece of art that cannot leave anyone blase! Resourceful synthesizer detailings are added to continually elevate the piece to loftier heights, progressively becoming even more bombastic and uber-symphonic. The gut-wrenching final delivery may also nod towards bands like Anathema, certainly vocally and that steam-roller guitar assault that the Cavanaugh brothers seem to favor. One of the finest epic prog tracks in the 21st Century.

The mightily inspirational and totally proggy 'West Winds' is the other real highlight here, a meticulously sounding hodgepodge of sound textures that induce fantastic images and a sense of musical accomplishment. Entirely instrumental, the piece attempts and succeeds in stamping prog credentials with a zeal that goes beyond the norm. Choppy guitar spasms, torrential synth cubes, sustained notes that glide through the ether, the level of creative genius is just stunning, Morse code synth blurbs, echoed piano, monstrous bass and primeval drum fills all in perfect harmony, preparing the spotlight for some serious guitar acrobatics, rhythm and lead trading shots with brash boldness. Harrison then launches on a tectonic drum volley that is most heavy and doom-laden, spooky keys in tow. A magnificent and modern piece of music that defies description.

The album starts off with some shorter pieces that offer great melodies, powerful guitar barrages and accomplished singing, all held together by some tough bass and drum propulsion. Each piece has a ton of little details that caught me off guard on a constant basis, a propensity to flirting, cajoling and enticing my brain with bejeweled brilliance. 'All You Need to Know' begins immediately with smooth mellotron waves and a spot-on vocal full of trembling emotion and unabashed sincerity ('I never want to know what you mean me'), that grabs hold of your ears and mind and refuses to let go. The arrangement then explodes into this effortless mood, pushed by a simple bass and drum combination, a stinging guitar solo, first oozy and then woozy but short and sweet. Intelligent prog-pop, exquisitely delivered and totally addictive.

The swooning, almost Hindu-tinged 'Well, I Think That's What You Said?' is another heavenly voiced tune, with angelic chorus on one end and some rock-hard driving rhythmic patterns giving this some backbone, a soft-hard rock ballad of the finest ilk, brooding mellotron not far from the edge. The buzzing guitar attack is slashed by repeated zipper-like swaths of synth and various effects that would make vintage Brian Eno proud.

While 'Take Me With You' has a vocal that will undress any indifference, truth is the song is catchy and hummable, basking in outright proggy clothing as the smoking mellotron blasts away, unhinged. Clanging guitars, moody and spectral keyboards, nasty bass ruffle and muscular drums finish the wardrobe. The 'You're the next one to go, take me with you' line is a soporific entreaty that sears the mind into submission, a wholly seductive package and unreservedly convincing. The mid-section gets into some heavy psychedelics, fluffy clouds of sound before the fury erupts and starts the ravaging entire process, I mean =WOW!

Finally, the highly melancholic 'Deep Blue World' is lush with orchestral accouterments, acoustic guitar shuffling the sweet and yet pained voice of Bruce Soord and a practically pastoral sheen, as if the gallant sun was shining though the curtains, warming the heart and comforting the soul. The vocal is truly divine. Harrison shows his mettle with some complex percussives as the heady mellotron squalls kick in.

My copy has two bonus tracks that are welcome additions to the set list, a mesmerizing and unexpected surprise of the highest order. If U2 would have progressed into a progressive band, this is probably how they would have sounded, Bruce Soord is a very talented singer, guitarist and composer. What a fabulous recording, I think I am going to steal some more exotic fruit and pineapples.

5 Occidental gales

 Magnolia by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.62 | 110 ratings

Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by crashandridemusic

3 stars Residing in England, The Pineapple Thief consists of Bruce Soord on vocals/guitar, Jon Sykes on bass guitar, Steve Kitch on keyboards, and Dan Osborne on the drums. Having been around for over 15 years, listener can have their pick of the litter when it comes to selecting great music. I feel their most recent 'Magnolia' shows the band at its finest, but displays a band transitioning away from their progressive influences.

Leaning more towards a straightforward rock sound than any of their prior works, 'Magnolia' serves as the perfect introductory record to newcomers. Lasting only 46 minutes (an unusually short album by prog's standards), the overall downbeat nature of this album restrains the band, and prevents them from being too showy. No song is over six minutes long, leaving off any chance for a potential epic like 'Light Up Your Eyes' or 'P.V.S.' The album also lacks experimentation found in previous albums, focusing more on mainstream songwriting. Sure, the album starts off with a bang, featuring the powerful choruses of 'Simple As That' and 'Alone At Sea.' From this point, the album takes a turn with four gentle songs in a row, including the album's title track. It's this stretch that reminds me the most of Porcupine Tree from the 90's. The slide guitar, the effect- driven clean guitar, the overall simpler song structure; it's very relaxing, but also serves as the lone fault on this record, which I'll mention later. It isn't until 'The One You Left To Die' plays that the listener is sucked back into the heaviness of the album.

Being my personal favorite song off the album, 'The One You Left To Die' contains that clich' British sound that is apparent in records ranging from present day bands like Muse and Coldplay to as far back as the Beatles. The bass line that takes center stage from the beginning, the quick notes struck by symphonic instruments, and the emotional vocals all set up the upbeat chorus. Even the following song 'Breathe' acts as a sister-song, containing much of the same themes and tones as the prior. The passionate vocals in these two songs are the driving force of this album, especially the chorus in 'The One You Left To Die':

'The one you loved returning, the one you left to die / You'll never stop, you're searching for/ The one you know has died.'

'Magnolia,' although a beautiful album, is far softer and simpler than typical progressive rock albums. In fact, if you aren't paying enough attention, it'll pass by unnoticed. I'm not sure if it's because of the track order, or simply the presence of too many softer songs, but the album is relatively quiet and choppy. One could even argue that many of the songs follow the same formula, which I wouldn't necessarily disagree with. Besides 'The One You Left To Die,' I couldn't recall any other memorable song off the album. With all those concerns, this album definitely needs to be listened to multiple times to achieve the desired effect. Each song does have it's own unique flavor, but is meant to be listened to as a whole instead of its individual parts. With its modest approach, The Pineapple Thief have written an effective record that can please old fans and discover new audiences.

A solid effort, "Magnolia" is easily a three star album.

Taken from Crash And Ride Music

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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