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Crossover Prog • United Kingdom

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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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Kscope 2014
Audio CD$18.77
$19.43 (used)
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9h 38m
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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 | 66 ratings
137 [Aka: One Three Seven]
3.20 | 123 ratings
Variations On A Dream
2.40 | 40 ratings
12 Stories Down
3.33 | 81 ratings
10 Stories Down
3.79 | 127 ratings
Little Man
3.90 | 198 ratings
What We Have Sown
3.63 | 178 ratings
Tightly Unwound
3.58 | 227 ratings
Someone Here Is Missing
3.72 | 144 ratings
All The Wars
3.59 | 117 ratings
3.96 | 159 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
4.30 | 10 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)
3.65 | 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
3.96 | 159 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars The Pineapple Thief remain dedicated to their way of making music, growing in reputation and fame, though routed firmly in going way beyond just standing still , rehashing a tried and truly glorious career, but instead choose to explain away their lives, their loves , their hopes and all of their dreams. Yes, occasional nightmares and even tragedies. We survive. Somehow. Steve Wilson concentrated on the analysis of apathy, drug addiction, ignorance and of course, inner pain. All very existential. Bruce Soord prefers a more basic suffering in human terms, dealing with tragedy, loss, grief and often, discouragement. Both vistas are surely depressive but also altruistic in its desire to understand and to heal. On this monumental album, the long-awaited masterpiece has arrived, aroused by the cosmic beauty of past works such as the tragic "Little Man", and the correspondingly majestic "What We Have Sown?" . After a couple of more obscure releases, they are back to proggier realms, with insanely stellar poetry that hits hard and straight, in pure agony. The rather toned-down instrumentation is one of the finest examples of 'less is more', certainly in progressive rock terms, as these musicians simply seize the divine mood and bloom accordingly.

The somber "In Exile" is a mood setter par excellence, scouring for skin deep emotions, sensually sung by Bruce, who never sounded more mournful and penetrating. He can now join the top prog elite with the likes of Steve Wilson, Danny Cavanaugh (Anathema), Marco Gluhmann (Sylvan) and old-timers like Mark Hollis (Talk Talk) to challenge and emote on the wildest level. Incredibly infectious and deeply aggrieved, he arms himself with lyrics that tend to focus on human emotions, something we used to call 'feelings' back in the day. "Don't be afraid to miss me, don't be afraid to hate me", gulp. In exile is a sense of solitude, internal penitentiary and pensive bondage. Bruce's high pitched wail is flooded with an intense mellotron squall, ticked by deft percussives, the band barking up the Porcupine Tree.

Poignant, bold and surreal, the score is minimalist with simply dense drum work from master Gavin Harrison, a genial choice to man the rhythmic arsenal, with a spectacular display of basic percussive mastery as projected on "No Man's Land", beyond a gorgeous a song as it aims to become a hymn to the human condition. Soord croons the dejected song with complete assurance and believability, mainly because it's heartfelt as well as the consequences of his personal grief, the nature of which I will not divulge, at this time. If you want to know then research it, I guess. The song's final section is jaw-dropping, oozing atmospherics from every pore, drenched in restrained exaltation. Harrison again shows his mettle, delivering punchy accents and deft propulsion when the after burners kick in and turn this piece into an epic classic.

The volcanic "Tear you Up" is quite the entertaining ride as well, maintaining the vacillating heartache and shoving it a little harder along, articulating "a distant shore", a solitary figure "drifting on the open sea". It gets punchy with a rough guitar rasp that expresses all the agony of loss, a powerful dose of reality. Another persuasive killer track, "That Shore" has a radiating quality of near ambient desolation, a vaporous mist of infectious aromas, captained by a despair-ignited soul singer, and a melody that owes a great deal to Wilson's fabulous ballad "My Ashes", off the "Fear of a Blank Planet" manifesto. Except here, Bruce aims for the loftiest highs, his hushed voice crushingly sorrowful, the instruments at their most basic, enriching pools of pearled emotions that defy categorization. Devastating !

Two tracks destined to live well together as they focus on the follow up twin emotions to shock, known as rage and anger. Jon Sykes shows off his considerable bass guitar skills on the thus punkier "Take Your Shot" , a gallant compulsion to defend the principles behind civilized behavior by fighting back, at least with words and with imperative music. The competing hard and soft voices demonstrate clearly the deep discord and the ripping confusion, a nasty guitar slaying the beast of despondence. "It's time to make your move. Oh Yeah!". Its roommate is the equally blustery "Fend For Yourself", a clear message of survival from above, from the heavens that rule all of our fears. Terrific Harrison shuffle, an effervescent beat to liven up the soporific voice that 'never looks back", a charming clarinet solo from Supertramper John Anthony Helliwell, a kaleidoscope of simple mosaics that firmly anchor the survival mode message.

But what comes next is the true slayer of the beast of indifference, "The Final Thing On My Mind" is a masterpiece of prog, period! Mournfully melancholic, it exudes a universe where pain is transmitted within a vessel of delirious music, superbly crafted and emotionally intense. The lyrics here play a preponderant role, recalling a story of love that turned into pain and into heartbreak, a crushing admonition ultimately, acquiescence and then survival. Ughh! I can relate having my love walk away into silence, a few months ago. Not a good feeling, being so suddenly alone. So when these words hit home, I can smile and pray for salvation. "Every waking dawn it's you I see, coming back to me". Musically, its breathtaking, a very swooning entrance with an almost minimalist arrangement, pushed by the masterful Gavin Harrison's humble and yet relentless pummel. At the four minute mark, it falls into a magnificent atmospheric pool of deep ambiance, crushingly slow "Everything you did is a part of me, ripped apart from me" as mentioned already by my colleague mellotronstorm. I can feel it and I know John can too. We survive, as best we can until a new sun comes into our existence. The most beautiful melody slowly emerges from the mist, delicately caressed by a forlorn piano motif, a gut-wrenching guitar solo trails but somehow this is all very comforting. A witness to agony, we all commiserate.

The dexterously woven "Where we Stood" ends this magnificent opus, not on a positive note but rather a long look back at what once was and not anymore. A memory, a reminder of "such a beautiful feeling", scorched by a stunning but short guitar outburst.

Need to say something about the artwork, part and parcel of that fabulous No-Man album "Wild Opera" that featured vintage 60s 'America is Great' pictures, courtesy of Beech. A family wretchedly waiting for the encounter of the last kind, searching for a missing father, a missing man, lost somewhere on the upper slopes of desolation. "Your Wilderness" is also a crowning achievement for the man who should be hailed as among the very best talented drummers in the world, which is permanently seared into the grooves with stellar stick work that should impress every stripe of music fandom. He makes Bruce Soord's at times demanding music shine. Their finest album ever and maybe a permanent monument to 2016 prog, who knows? Well, not quite true, Donald Trump knows everything! But I digress. Number 1, I say!

5 Our wastelands

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 159 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

3 stars I first heard about the Pineapple Thief a couple of years ago, despite the fact that the band is active for almost 2 decades now. I listened to a couple of their songs, and then added in my collection the album Magnolia (2014). Their style can be described as a mix of bands like Muse, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead and Gazpacho, to name a few. Their music in most occasions is mellow, melancholic, romantic, but it also has a "wilder" side from time to time, which I find very welcome. I mean, let's get serious; how much melancholy one can stand? I really enjoyed their previous album, that's why I was very curious to listen to this new one, especially when I learned that some very good musicians are participating in it; like for example Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree, John Helliwell of Supertramp and Geoffrey Richardson of Caravan. When I first listened to the album I felt like I was listening to a new but a more mellow version of Magnolia. All the elements that characterize their sound are present, but the overall outcome is a more melancholic and a less inspired one. (Always in my opinion). It is one of those albums that you can easily listen from the start till the end, even use it as a background music without being annoying, but I have the feeling that there is something missing here. Maybe a couple of stronger compositions, maybe a little more "powerful" parts; I can't figure it out. Of course the album includes some really fine songs and moments, like for example the songs 'Tear You up' and 'Fend for Yourself', especially when John Helliwell's clarinet enters. But the overall feeling I get is kind of a "flat" one, and that bothered me to be honest. I'm having difficulties when it is time to choose my favourite(s) songs out of it, because I like the album, but I can hardly pick the one or two songs that are making the difference in it. But this is only my personal opinion, that's why you should listen to it and form your own one. I read some very positive reviews, and saw some very high ratings, so maybe this album doesn't match my music tastes so much. As for my rating, I'm affraid I can't give more than 3.0 out of 5.0 stars to it.

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 159 ratings

Your Wilderness
Pineapple Thief Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars Another very solid, melody-rich album from these PORCUPINE TREE-inspired musicians. I like the band's choice to employ more sparse, almost acoustic instruments and more spacious arrangements of their music in support of Bruce Swoord's solid vocals. Despite the help of a nice group of guest artists--including former PT drummer, GAVIN HARRISON, the album has quite a stripped down sound from previous Pineapple Thief.

1. "In Exile" (5:10) is a pretty solid album opener. Driving, insistent, melodic. (8.5/10)

2. "No Man's Land" (4:17) a gorgeous song with the first half sounding quite similar to Damon Albarn's "Out of Time." (9.5/10)

3. "Tear You Up" (4:51) a solid song that feels very familiar from the PT discography but lacks power, punch or freshness. (8/10)

4. "That Shore" (4:52) is a very pretty, delicately textured song whose sound foundation formed during the first 35 seconds is actually the most complex part of the song! Bruce's very delicate, emotional vocal which follows is then supported by even more sparse soundscape for the first and second verses. Even the choruses are pretty low key. Atmospheric. (8/10)

5. "Take Your Shot" (4:38) a song founded on acoustic instrumentation, it has a kind of throw-back rock sound--like an 80s band like TOM PETTY, LOVE AND ROCKETS, or even a bit of TEARS FOR FEARS. (8/10)

6. "Fend for Yourself" (3:43) sounds a lot like a previous hit of theirs, "My Debt to You," only a slightly more acoustic version. I like the presence of the woodwind. (8/10)

7. "The Final Thing on My Mind" (9:53) another solid prog epic from TPT. Nice dynamic shifts. (9/10)

8. "Where We Stood" (3:45) sounds like a STEVE WILSON song (as opposed to a PT song)--but this is really the first one. Chord progression, instrument sounds, vocal stylings, song arrangement. But it's good! (8.5/10)

This band just keeps getting more and more polished . . . at doing pretty much the same thing they've been doing for over a decade now.

A solid four star album; an excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection.

 Your Wilderness by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 159 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 | 198 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
3.96 | 159 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
3.96 | 159 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
3.96 | 159 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
3.96 | 159 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!

 Little Man by PINEAPPLE THIEF album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.79 | 127 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

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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