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The Pineapple Thief - Your Wilderness CD (album) cover


The Pineapple Thief


Crossover Prog

3.95 | 250 ratings

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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.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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