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The Pineapple Thief - Abducting the Unicorn [Aka: Abducted at Birth] CD (album) cover


The Pineapple Thief


Crossover Prog

3.42 | 103 ratings

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3 stars Bruce Soord, the guitarist from the prog band Vulgar Unicorn, started The Pineapple Thief as a side project. On this, the debut album, he is the main instrumentalist and lead singer. The other 2 players seem to be considered session players, though they would be considered regulars by the next album. It seems this band was created to be a little more alternative than progressive, but some of the progressive elements did make it over, thought somewhat slight on this first album. Overall, it's not a bad album. It seems to be well produced and mixed nicely. It is something to be proud of, but I wouldn't consider it a major progressive release. It is pleasant to listen to and has some very interesting harmonies and some inventive passages. I can't say that anything really stands out though, at least after the first few listens. The processed drums don't help out on this album either, it makes the album have a lackluster feel, and that could be the biggest drawback about this album, giving it a feeling of sameness overall, when in actuality, there is quite a bit of change throughout. Once you become more familiar with the songs, you will notice some things do stand out though.

The first track, Private Paradise, on the surface, looks like it could be progressive simply because of the 11 minute time span. However, I do find it lacking in substance. Nothing is really developed much here. It is a mid-tempo song that really does nothing interesting. Yes it is nice to listen to, but there definitely isn't 11 minutes worth of development here and can be a little tiring to listen to for that long. "Drain" however, is a much better song, with more power and better material throughout. This probably would have been a better opener. You also start to notice that Bruce sounds a lot like Billy Corgan from "Smashing Pumpkins" which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but Bruce tends to not have as much passion in his singing, at least on this album. There is a nice guitar break on this second track however, and it stays more interesting. This feeling continues onto the next track "Whatever You Do - Do Nothing", which has some very interesting harmonies and a few nice hooks. The next two tracks keep things interesting enough, with some nice sounds being coaxed out of Bruce's guitar and some great experimentation with processed sounds, but the passion seems to lack a little bit. By the time you get to "Everyone Must Perish", you might start to feel bored as the songs almost seem to melt together in a bit of sameness and a little lack of passion, but when "Judge the Girl" starts, you do start to feel a bit of an upswing in the feel of the music, and things continue to build through this piece where it ends in a heavy swirling of guitars and synths. It then ends a little abruptly and goes into a nice, quasi-psychedelic feel for the introduction of the 18 minute epic "Parted Forever". Bruce continues with a laid back feeling and his quiet vocals join in to match the feeling of the song. But, with the rest of the album considered, by this time you are waiting for something explosive and interesting, so this laid back feeling starts to grow thin. Around the 5:20 minute mark, everything gets a little more tense, which is a welcome change. This goes until about 7 1/2 minute mark, and things back off again. Vocals return after a while, and more mid tempo floating guitar which can feel almost like Porcupine Tree, but again, the processed drums make it feel lacking in passion. The track continues like this for it's duration, with some minor builds and drop offs. It does tend to meander around a bit and you get that overall feeling that this is all you've been listening to from the beginning. It's easy to forget about the standout sections of the album which don't happen often enough.

Again, this is not a bad record, but it isn't essential for progressive music lovers. With the many albums Pineapple Thief have released over the years, things will get better, but it never really remains consistent either. There are some great moments, and there are some that are just too lackluster. But when they are great, they are really great.

TCat | 3/5 |


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