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TIGHTLY UNWOUND

The Pineapple Thief

Crossover Prog


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The Pineapple Thief Tightly Unwound album cover
3.64 | 202 ratings | 16 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. My Debt To You (5:19)
2. Shoot First (4:12)
3. Sinners (4:52)
4. The Sorry State (4:11)
5. Tightly Wound (6:35)
6. My Bleeding Hand (4:20)
7. Different World (10:44)
8. And So Say All Of You (4:05)
9. Too Much To Lose (15:12)

Total Time: 59:30

Bonus Disc from 2013 remaster:
1. Bitter Day (4:50)
2. Second Chance (5:10)
3. Too Far Gone (3:52)
4. Freefall (5:42)
5. February 13th (6:07)
6. The West Coast (2:37)
7. Shoot First (Acoustic) (3:25)
8. Tightly Wound (Acoustic) (5:37)

Total time 37:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Bruce Soord / vocals, guitar, string arrangements
- Steve Kitch / keyboards
- Jon Sykes / bass
- Keith Harrison / drums

Releases information

Artwork: James Stratton

CD Kscope ‎- KSCOPE101 (2008, Germany)
2xCD Kscope ‎- KSCOPE274 (2013, UK) Remastered by Dave Turner & remixed by Bruce Soord with bonus disc including Dawn Raids EP I & II, plus unreleased track (7)

Thanks to synesthetize for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

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THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Tightly Unwound ratings distribution


3.64
(202 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
51%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

THE PINEAPPLE THIEF Tightly Unwound reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by laplace
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars As a band, there are worse groups than Radiohead you could choose to emulate, but where they fear to tread Pineapple Thief dive in with glee, extending their compositions and indulging themselves in over-seriousness. As a (bad) reviewer, this band honestly worries me so I wonder what their idols think of them - are they flattered or just infuriated that they have missed the point?

Tightly Unwound sits somewhere between The Bends and your favourite latter-day Porcupine Tree album, coming off as overblown, elaborated atmospheric rock; the vocalist, one Bruce Soord, is a clear admirer of Thom Yorke and imitates his fragile snarl of a voice in most conditions, and the bandmembers pick their spots accordingly, supporting their leader with functional, alt-rock styled backing, all strumming and strangely emphasised beats. It is hard to find their music sincere, having heard the prototype band, since all the songs of Tightly Unwound are over-professional and bloated compared. You will appreciate that Radiohead knew when to hear a song, when to add more than locked-down waves of guitar; when, above all, their music would sound playful and affecting rather than, well, solid.

This album is very solid. In fact, it's a predictable and textureless brick. It has no emotional properties that aren't simply borrowed and played from muscle memory alone; it is Disney alt-rock, it is Radiohead fan-fiction where the author couldn't get into Amnesiac. I tried to be nicer but this deserves nothing from me - I find it to be a literally disposable album. If you are more forgiving of this new prog style then this hour of boredom may suit you, but please support more original bands.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I confess to being a PINEAPPLE THIEF fan for years, and this seventh album from Bruce and the boys continues the excellence that began with their debut "Abducting The Unicorn". It's also great to see this band getting some respect (good ratings) on this site with their last three albums. In fact of the 12 people who rated this one up to this point (including me) 11 have given it either 4 or 5 stars.

Things get started with "My Debt To You" which is a rather tame opening track. Acoustic guitar and fragile vocals to open that are contrasted with the fuller sounding sections with strummed guitar and stronger vocals. Good song though. "Shoot First" is a more uptempo song as drums pound away. It calms down when vocals arrive a minute in. The contrast continues. A spacey synth section 3 minutes in. "Sinners" is all about the vocals, strummed guitar and drumming. Love the tasteful guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. "Tightly Wound" is a catchy, mid-paced tune. Heavy drums and synths lead the way early. Vocals a minute in. I like when he sings "Look what you've done, you've made me throw up on your floor". This one features much more aggressive vocals and guitars at times, that are contrasted well with the reserved vocals and mellower soundscapes. Some orchestral-like sounds to end it. Great tune. "The Sorry State" opens with strummed guitar and vocal melodies. Nice. Vocals take over as acoustic guitar continues. Drums and a fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in. Love the guitar a minute later.

"My Bleeding Hand" is an uptempo tune with a solid soundscape. The guitar sounds great 1 1/2 minutes in, and it starts to rip it up before 2 1/2 minutes. Great ending. One of my favs. "Different World" opens with beautifully played acoustic guitar with synths. A powerful soundscape follows. This over 10 minute track takes us through many tempos and moods. "And So Say All Of You" opens with acoustic guitar and synths. Reserved vocals come in. It sounds like mellotron then violin before we get a fuller sound with drums 1 1/2 minutes in. It settles back down beautifully. Amazing tune. Very PORCUPINE TREE-like. "Too Much To Lose" is the over 15 minute closer. And what a closer it is. One of their best tracks ever. Piano, drums and synths in a dreamy intro. Vocals are sung calmly and slowly. Guitar after 3 minutes cries out. The tempo starts to pick up a minute later as the song becomes more powerful. Heavy electric guitar. Fantastic sound 6 minutes in ! Before 7 minutes the song stops and becomes quite haunting, drums come in around 7 1/2 minutes followed by spoken words as the haunting sounds continue. Great section. Heavy electric guitar 9 minutes in. It calms down to a whisper before it starts to slowly build. The tempo picks up with some nice guitar. Vocals return 14 minutes in.

I admit that these guys can do no wrong in my eyes, at least not yet. Haha. A solid 4 stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Let's face it: this might not be the band that you heavily consider as "prog", especially if you define prog as something like Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, ELP, King Crimson. But if you open up your mind, this Somerset-based band, The Pineapple Thief, offers you their music which you might consider as modern progressive music. For sure, their music just cannot be considered as regular pop music and you can skim all tracks in this their 7-th album "Tightly Unwound". Personally, I was not inclined to have another spin after I listened to this album at the first time. And this album was my first experience with the band. What was my first reaction? It's a blend of RADIOHEAD plus BLACKFIELD (Steven Wilson's project), PORCUPINE TREE (not the metal part), MARILLION (h era) and a bit of PINK FLOYD.

"Radiohead embody everything that's great about prog."

That's not my statement, but it's a statement by the band during their interview with Classic Rock magazine (August 2008). The new edition of the magazine features also a free bonus CD titled "Prog Spawn" where one track "Tightly Wound" of The Pineapple Thief latest album is featured. I think, if you are prog head, you should have this magazine's August edition with you as there are many prog stuffs plus the nice prog bonus CD.

From their statement, it's clear that they use Radiohead as main influence even though they listened to 70s music Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. The opening track "My Debt to You" (5:19) did not stimulate my emotion at all at first spin. But it grew on me as I was interested with the soundscape the song produce. It reminded me to Porcupine Tree. "Shoot First" (4:12) enters with energy and dynamics especially to the excellent combination of acoustic guitar and drum as main rhythm section augmented beautifully with electric guitar effects and soundscapes. "Sinners" (4:52) reminds me to Pink Floyd with its kind of Floydian guitar. But when percussion enters and the vocal starts to sing, it reminds me to Porcupine Tree's kind of music. The singing style of The Pineapple Thief is quite alike with Steven Wilson. That's why I love this album.

"The Sorry State" (4:11) is a beautifully composed song with great melody and lyrics, tight composition - especially on the way vocal and guitar provide the ambient. It's really a great song. "Tightly Wound" (6:35) which has been put in Classic Rock bonus CD "Prog Spawn" is another great track as it has diverse styles. I like the way drum sound is set rough at the beginning of the track and also the dragging vocal line. The other track that's worth observing is "Different World" (10:44) where it has multi-structure composition with nice insertion of drum solo in the middle of the track. And I recommend you to observe the last and the longest track "Too Much To Loose" (15:12). What do you think?

Overall, I consider this album as an excellent addition to any prog music collection that every home (of prog head) must have it. The composition is tight, combined with great soundscapes, and sound effects that create great ambient for the album in its entirety. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Tightly Unwound is a very modern sounding Prog album in the tradition of Porcupine Tree and even more so, Radiohead. In fact vocalist Bruce Soord would surely love to be Thom Yorke, so much does he sound like him. While it's far from the most exciting thing I've heard this year, it's a pretty good album though comes across as a little contrived.

My Debt to You opens the album and it's a smart move. This acoustic guitar driven melodic song paves the way nicely for the powerful opening of Shoot First before it sinks firmly into something that could have appeared on a Radiohead album around the time of The Bends. Still I quite enjoyed it and it has a particularly strong and memorable chorus.

After the intro Sinners drops down to more acoustic guitar with a slight flamenco feel to it, more like Porcupine Tree in execution with a powerful wall of sound style chorus with some pleasing atmospheric guitar towards the end. One of the better tracks for me.

Not quite the title track, Tightly Wound, we've lost the Un of Unwound is under laid with a solid 7/8 drum pattern with ambient sounding instrumentation much of the time until those acoustic guitars appear again and Soord's best Thom Yorke impression so far and a string driven (on keyboards) finale.

The Sorry State is another track with much use being made of acoustic guitar, sympathetic well constructed drumming from Keith Harrison which leads into another favourite of mine, My Bleeding Hand. I enjoyed the drive of this track, like Tightly Wound played in sevens much of the time. The clanging snare sound works well on the verse of this powerful track as does the guitar solo.

As is the case with all Progheads I enjoy to hear a band stretch out on the longer tracks. We get 2 of them here near the end of the album separated by the less than memorable And So Say All Of You. Sadly they prove to be a little disappointing and do nothing that couldn't have been accomplished in half the time. Different World is the better of the two having a decent melody and some good drumming from Harrison but there's not enough of interest to keep the attention for almost 11 minutes. The same criticism can be made of album closer Too Much To Lose which at 15 minutes is even longer. For the first four minutes it drags along rather tediously before an instrumental section picks up the pace a bit and just when you think it's all over the drums bring it back into a more ambient style with a spoken word vocal. Again a nice drum groove from Harrison - yes I like his style and it turns out to be the best part of the track. Sadly the final section goes nowhere of interest and I'd have been quite happy if they'd stopped at the 11 minute mark.

Overall then a decent if less than spectacular album but a shame a bit more couldn't have been made of the 2 longer tracks and a little less Radiohead wouldn't go amiss.

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I just wonder, how often will these guys release albums ;)

Only 9 months since 'What We Have Sown' - and here they go again, with an hour of new stuff, sounding so much like the older one. When it comes to bands like PINEAPPLE THIEF, a matter of taste comes fully in power: I like 'Little Man' (2006) most, though I can clearly hear it's barely different from any other album musically, putting aside record/producing issues. The new one is the same old formula 'RADIOHEAD + PORCUPINE TREE = PINEAPPLE THIEF', with more RADIOHEAD this time (while 'What We Have Sown' was definitely more PTish, more epic and proggy). Songs are good, though hardly as catchy and masterful as Wilson/Yorke use to write, but enjoyable anyway. Fans of both mentioned should add an extra half-star to my rating, others shouldn't bother much. Good, but this time definitely non-essential

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This has been a number one in a chart of a Dutch progsite for many many weeks in the running year so then you start believing you're missing out on something great if you wouldn't buy it. I had one album by Pineapple Thief so far (10 stories down) and I thought it was pretty disappointing. Why I bought it ? Because I knew the band from the PA stream track Remember Us which is a nice epic and also from a Cyclops sampler song and that happened to be Variations on a Dream, a famous song by this band and also a very good song. But in the end I think I gave a sort of last chance with this album and decided if I didn't like it then this would be my last attempt.

Funny enough the first song, My Debt to you resembles Remember Us quite much at certain moments, of course this one is shorter and therefore more compact than the dragging on style of Remember Us. So this is almost a shorter version of that lengthy song. Good but not outstanding (3,25*).

Shoot first is a fairly loud one for Pineapple Thief standard. I know this band as a bit of a mellow-styled one and I'm not to keen on those in general. The quality is there nonetheless and that's why I keep giving them a try. This song is an example of the better side of PT (3,5*).

Sinners is more or less the same style as previous but in this one they remind me a bit of Radiohead, a band I respect but don't love or even like so not really a compliment from me here. Nice song but no more despite a fine instrumental part (3*).

Next is a funny sort of title track because instead of Tightly Unwound it's called Tightly Wound and since there's not a song on this album of the same name as the album, it's a sort of pseudo title track. And again it's sounding like Radiohead, especially the drumming. Still, it's a pretty energetic one, more impressive than the previous three and probably the highlight to me (3,75*). Interesting song.

The Sorry State and My bleeding Hand are two short ones, not interesting and actually quite boring to me, both hardly reaching the 3 star score in my opinion. The second of the two has some energy I have to admit but not in an impressive way.

My hopes were initially set on the two epical tracks on this album of which the over 10 minute Different World is the first. But while my hopes were high it became a disappointment, also after several listens. My experience with longer tracks are usually very good but on this album they don't even surpass the shorter songs, both compositionally as where impact is concerned. No more than 3,25* I'm afraid. The song sounds a lot like Coldplay mainly because of the vocals at some points.

And so say all of you proves the statement above because this song is no less than previous but as so many of the others nothing to give me the shivers down the spine. (3,25*)

Too much to lose was meant to be the highlight for my expectations but again not mindblowing at all and a conclusion has to be for me that despite Remember Us (from one of their earlier albums) which was obviously an exception, epics are no speciallity of these guys. 3,5* at best. Hints to Porcupine Tree in a way.

So I'm afraid the average so far (3,33) reflects very well what this is worth in my opinion. And a conclusion will have to be that I will leave the rest of their discography alone. This doesn't mean this is a poor band by any means, it's just not for me. Objectively this could even be a 4 star album for many people but check them out in the store if you don't know them I would like to suggest. Comparing them with other bands I think they are somewhere in the triangle Radiohead, Coldplay and Porcupine Tree (Stupid Dream/Lightbulb Sun era). So if you don't know Pineapple Thief yet and you like these three this could well be a band and album for you.

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Last album to date for the "Pineapple Thief".

No other than usual: same melancholically stuff. Same average rock music. Little wonder is achieved in here: just a collection of "déjà vu" songs are recorded.

This album is no better than any of its predecessor. None of them being weak, but at the same time, to try and find some great feeling is quite alien as far as I'm concerned. Average music: that's it.

Some songs do feature some prog feel like the good "Shoot First"; but these sort of songs are quite scarce on this album.

This band has never scored pretty high on my scale, and this album won't be any different. To listen to the same old stuff, year after year is just boredom. Nothing new, nothing creative. Just the same old stuff; unfortunately.

Don't get me wrong: these guys do know how to play, how to perform. But IMHHO, they just don't know how to write VERY good songs. I have never been under the impression of above average composers. Very few songs could really move me to be honest. And "Tightly Wound" has no real thrill at all.

The band is achieving some more excitement and catchier feel with a track like "My Bleeding Hand". At least some different beat, close to heart feel, genuine rock. THE highlight of course; but this album doesn't hold a bunch of those to say the least. A great song indeed IMHHO. But the only one here.

Even if the short epic "Different World" is not weak of any kind. But it can't compete either with the great ones we all love and know. It features some fine vocal passages, but I can't really consider this song as a great prog moment. Nothing like this, I'm afraid.

On the contrary " And So Say All Of You" is a damned good song which is raising the level of this album quite substantially. If you would expect the closing and languishing epic (sixteen minutes) as a thrilling moment, I have to tell you that you shouldn't be disappointed. No sublime work as the prog giant could deliver of course, but some genuine interesting rock development. There are very fine rock music moments indeed.

Three stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I like this album a lot. More crossover than full-out prog, and, of course, often blatantly reminiscent of Porcupine Tree, the consistency and high level of listenable, likable songs collected here vault PTh, finally, out into their own. They can, IMHO, finally come out of the shadow of PT and be accepted as having contributed some very good, creative (if not innovative), and very engaging music. Yeah! I love so many songs: all of the first six are on my playlist of faves but the finale, "Too Much to Lose" is, again, IMHO, their first major contribution to the catalog of the all-time prog classics. Great Song! Great voice! Great harmonies! Great song collaborations. Truly an excellent addition to any prog-lover's album collection.
Review by TCat
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Team
4 stars With the release of The Pineapple Thief's 8th album 'Tightly Unwound', released in 2008, we finally see them performing and writing better songs and melodies and venturing into a more progressive sound. Finally, Bruce Soord is moving away from the slow dragging tracks and allowing the guitars and keyboards to open up, but also offering more up beat tracks. Not only that, but on their slower tracks, the melodies are much more interesting and emotional, they are starting to achieve the beauty that they had a hard time finding previously because they were trying to sound too alternative, but coming out sounding embarrassingly whiney. That's not to say that everything they did previously was bad, but there were too many tracks that were just pathetically boring. Things were improving and more for the overall sound and not just occasionally. The album that was released in 2007, 'What We Have Sown', was actually a collection of material written for other albums but previously had been unused, so it really wasn't the improvement that many were looking for. However, this album was the real new album for the year and it did bring improvement.

'My Debt to You' is a good opener, even though it is not the most upbeat track to open with, it still carries itself well and gives you a good introduction to the band if its your first time hearing them. Right away, you should notice the similarities in vocal style with Thom Yorke from Radiohead and musical style similar to a more mellow Porcupine Tree. But they have their own distinctive style also, and that is also apparent. 'Shoot First' is the track that is more upbeat and more ear catching with the melody and hooks. This track is a bit more progressive, but still a bit on the light side. 'Sinners' has a less interesting melody and tends to side with a track on some of their weaker albums, but it does have the quick strumming similar to Porcupine Tree's 'Trains', but again, with a weaker melody. Through these first three tracks, you got that Radiohead vocal sound. Even though these are all tracks with radio friendly length, I find them better than some of the more lackluster efforts especially since they tend to have more life to them overall.

Next comes 'Sinners' with the processed vocals similar to what Steven Wilson does with his vocal effects. Again, the melody and musicality just isn't up to par with Porcupine Tree yet, but you can hear the influence anyway. On 'Tightly Wound' there is a big improvement because the track does build in intensity, so it doesn't drag like some of their slower and earlier tracks did, and the progressive tendency is much stronger also, so that is improving. 'The Sorry State' is quite melancholy, again starting with acoustic strumming and Soord does his higher register in the beginning, again reminiscent of Radiohead, but also with better attention to a better and more interesting melody. The instrumental break turns things up a notch with a great guitar interlude.

'My Bleeding Hand' surprises again with another upbeat track with what begins as alternative guitars, but intensifies. Soord's vocals are no longer dragging or as moan-y as he has been too many times in the past. 'Different World' is a 10+ minute track, and before you worry that they may fall into the same trap as before, that is producing a long track that fooled some into thinking it was a great progressive epic, and getting a lot of repetition or meandering instead, this time, things are better as in allowing for better movement among sections and again, the themes are better. Having said that, there are still some issues, but there is an obvious improvement. There is a lot less meandering around in a slow rut, things are more dynamic.

'And So Say All of You' sounds just like Steven Wilson's vocals. But, after a mellow start, it intensifies like a Porcupine Tree song, so that is a great thing, especially since it is a good song, but lacking a bit in development. Another epic track follows with the 14+ minute song 'Too Much to Lose'. The opening is simply beautiful with soft piano and synths with some nice effects and a nice vocal melody. After two verses, a guitar solo improvises off of the main theme. At 4 minutes, there is a change in the tone of the song as it darkens and intensifies. The guitar gets loud and fuzzy as it pounds towards a heavy section and is joined by ominous keys. Just before 7 minutes, everything drops out except for an echoing synth, then drums crash in with a more moderate rhythm, spooky keys and spoken word vocals set for an ominous section. About 10 minutes in, things fade and become a bit experimental for about a minute before the previous theme comes back in chiming in the guitars and synths. Then the whole band leads out the last part of the track with a rousing finale.

Overall, this album shows much better improvement and is a good step towards a more progressive sound from the band. It would also feature more emotional songs with better melodies and themes, and better flow in the longer tracks, not just made long by wasting time, but actually having substance in the longer tracks. There was still some room to work here, but for the most part, the moan-y alternative songs were being replaced with better dynamics and even some upbeat sections. I like this album much better than most of their earlier albums, and finally they seemed to be returning to the sound of their awesome album 'Variations on a Dream'.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This is what I call the last traditional Pineapple Thief that has traces of Radiohead. The melody and flow over complex shifts in composition and many laid back soft tracks. The first track confirms that. Then we have "Shoot first" that displays how the band will change the focus in the future to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2038443) | Posted by sgtpepper | Wednesday, September 26, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Maybe the sound of The Pineapple Thief has arrived to a point of repeating themselves in certain musical notes, or style of singing or compositions; however, I can't deny that, no matter what song from what album I'm listening to, they are all very well written and produced, and beautifully ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#1037500) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was my first album from these guys, and I was suprised how much I enjoyed it. I do have some criticisms with them, mainly their influences, which almost make these guys sound like a Porucpine Tree/Radiohead/Anathema cover band at times, but the material is quite strong. This album was ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#289854) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Saturday, July 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This has to be the best album of 2008 (IMVHO). It builds on the ebbing and flowing of 1997's epic track What Have We Sown and delivers punchy, harder (on the whole) classics. The last 3 songs provide the best 30 minutes of music I have heard in a very long time. This album delivers on the pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#202133) | Posted by amcy | Monday, February 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Pineapple Thieves have struck again. While "What We Have Sawn" (late 2007) is just taking its first steps, a new album entitled "Tightly Unwound" is released on May 19, 2008. In the meantime, the Bruce Soord gang changed its label by moving to K-Scope, which also promotes Steven Wilson and his ... (read more)

Report this review (#185225) | Posted by Vincent Hulin | Friday, October 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have been a fan of The Pineapple Thief since I saw them in 2005 at the Marillion weekend where I thought they were the best band there after Marillion themselves! On record I have not been so sure. 10 stories down was a solid album but the songs were too accoustic for my taste. Little Man w ... (read more)

Report this review (#177188) | Posted by Headlong | Friday, July 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A review on Amazon of the previous album headlined 'Nearly There ...' Well, we've arrived. For those of you familiar with TPT, if I tell you this album just eclipses 'Variations ...', you will know how highly I rate it. Heavier than previous offerings but still retaining all the trademar ... (read more)

Report this review (#173034) | Posted by progadder | Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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