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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2010
The Pineapple Thief continue to develop their soundscape with this, their second album for K-Scope. Existing long-time fans may be taken aback by the new direction - we are now as far from the early classic "Variations on a Dream" as you could hope to be. However, it is worth hanging on in there, as the album, as usual, is a real "grower" and takes a few listens to really bed-in.

The biggest change in sound has been the significant drop in the use of "mellotronics". Band leader Bruce Soord is keen on the sound of the mellotron, invented in the 1960s, and sampled mellotron has always been a big feature of The Pineapple Thief's sound. Whether you have recognised it or not, if you have been a fan, you have undoubtedly enjoyed the depth and colour brought by this aspect of the soundscape. Take a song like the whimsical "My Debt to You", the opener from "Tightly Unwound", featuring a mellotron solo - such a song is now totally absent from "Someone Here is Missing". Even on "Barely Breathing", the closest connection to the old soundscape, the mellotronics are joined by more conventional, "heavy", sampled strings, enhancing the intensity of the sound.

Elsewhere, the relative absence of the mellotron is filled by other synthesizer/sampled sounds, often with a "club" texture, and played with rhythms and volumes befitting club music. Additionally there has been a deepening of the bass sound through the soundscape, so that when you add the continuing use of heavy guitar riffing, the overall soundscape feels heavier than previously.

However, The Pineapple Thief have not become a heavy band: Soord maintains his traditional variety in song structure composition that avoids this. Ok, there is nothing that approaches the complexity and duration of the psychological thriller "Too Much to Lose" that closed the previous album, but the songs are often varied in their dynamics and tempo, alternating slow, quiet passages with the fury of some - it has to be said - extremely catchy and heavy rhythmic sections. And that is the key that makes this album a winner - the heavy rhythmic sections are very catchy and appealing indeed. It's difficult not to dance or head-bang when they get going!

The Pineapple Thief's songs have always been simple to the extent that they can be reduced to Soord playing them solo on acoustic guitar, and that element has not changed, just the alteration in soundscape. As such, fans old and new will still find much to enjoy on "Someone Here is Missing": gorgeous melodies, great rhythms and interesting song structures and arrangements.

Give this album a few spins and I promise you will be hooked and keep coming back for more: songs such as "Wake Up the Dead", "Barely Breathing", "Someone Here is Missing", "3000 Days" and, my favourite, "So We Row" destined to become Thief "classics".

Additionally, the sound quality is superb - perhaps to be expected from a studio hermit like Soord with the backing of a record deal! - play this CD through a good quality sound system, turn up the volume and expect to be amazed!

Travel with an open mind! Enjoy!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2010
How many top-drawer albums can one group release and still remain relatively unknown? In the case of The Pineapple Thief (TPT), the answer appears to be 8 - this is their 8th studio album (excluding compilations, re-releases, etc) and they continue to evolve and produce high quality work. This album probably hangs together as a single body of work better than any so far and, believe me, that is saying a lot as all their old work (mostly long since deleted) is consistently rounded, mature, professional and just plain "good". There are probably more twanging acoustic guitars, more heavy guitar solos, less mellotron-layering and more harmonies than before and a consistent feel across the tracks - even the quieter acoustic sections feel they belong to the same album as the longer heavier bits.

I hate the continual musical references the band get (Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Elbow, Muse, Smashing Pumpkins et al). They may seem necessary to explain the sound, but TPT are anything but a pale copy of these groups. They have moved and gone where they want to go and are leaders of their own genre rather than followers of someone else's. Whilst I was full of anticipation for Porcupine Tree's The Incident last year, but felt disappointed when it arrived, this is the reverse - exceeding all my expectations and worth every day of waiting for the package to hit my doormat.

Bruce Soord's lyrics and singing are always bitter, brooding, resentful and paranoid. That is not a bad thing to my mind - the songs sing of important passages in his life and are full of feeling. From the quiet and moving "Barely Breathing" through to the longer "So We Row" and the single "Nothing At Best", the album is full of highlights. I have played it about 8 times and still have no clear favourite, no song I want to skip and no desire to remove it from my player.

If there was any justice in the world, these guys would be on Jools Holland, at the Brits and headlining Glastonbury. Whilst they deserve it, part of me is a little glad that they remain a secret to me and a few tens of thousands of other true music lovers. Do yourself a favour - give it a go.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2010
I first heard about this band around three years ago via a circular from their record company. They boys seem to be very accomplished musicians and studious songwriters. A different direction greets you with this offering, edgey and more driving rythms etc. There's more electrickery, but also the Mellotron massages your ears all over the damn place!! They were definately given a very reasonable budget to record with and it shows. The tracks to savour are....Nothing At Best, The State We're In.......Watch out for 'Preparation for Meltdown', it's a monster of a track, it reminds me of Too Much To Lose! So We Row has a driving beast of a thumping backing track. It's a corker basically, but what do this band have to do to get properly noticed? Things can't get massively better than this...can they? It is The Pineapple Thief we are talking about.....anything can happen. Buy it, you should like it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2010
Unfortunately very few people have heard of this band, but in my mind they fill stadiums.

The Pineapple Thief, initially a vehicle for main man Bruce Soord's solo work, have been going as a band proper since around 2002 (or around 3000 days, more of which later) and have released a number of fine albums leading to this, their most compelling work to date. Comparisons have been made to Radiohead, but luckily they lack that band's tendency to stray into pretentiousness. Even on TPT's longer songs the basic song-writing craft is never far from the surface.

Bruce's lyrical themes are similar in a way to Thom Yorke's - there's a lot of regret, obsession, and a sprinkling of paranoia, and if you're not one for melancholic lyrics don't be put off, as the music is often of an epic scale and lifts the whole thing to another level.

This great album kicks off with Nothing At Best - welcome to the pulsebeat - it rocks! This is one of the three standout tracks for me, and should be played at neigbour annoying levels!
The next track has an almost glam-like feel to it in places, and builds to a suitably intense climax.
The most satisfying track for me at the mo' is Preparation For Meltdown, an epic of great electronica programming with a very noisy scratchy guitar chaos ending. Lovely.
Barely Breathing - Lighters aloft for a slower acoustic led number following the noise fest of the previous number.
Show A Little Love is an epic song of love and regret and storms along.
Another immediate favourite is 3000 Days, which is also the title of their must have career spanning compilation of last year. This song is an epically (that word again) constructed stadium sized anthem, to the point where around two minutes from the end an almost Zep like riff crashes in. The neighbours are hammering on the walls by now.
The closer, So We Row (as in boat, not argument) is a slow burner and a good ending.

It would be a crying shame if this great band did not find the success they sorely deserve, especially when there's so much bland rubbish out there dominating festivals and making the big buck.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2010
The Pineapple Thief are the most under-rated band around............and the biggest secret. I've just seen them at Bridport, Dorset where they were brilliant, playing loads of tracks from SHIM with a fantastic sound. Unfortunately the audience wasn't the biggest and I hope they can survive on the loyal following they have picked up over the years.

As for SHIM I urge you to buy it.........Everything is here: Melody, power, emotion, variety............The sound is modern, but will also appeal to traditional prog fans looking for new avenues. I've been disappointed over recent times by releases from the likes of Marillion, Porcupine Tree and Riverside...........but this has made amends. Go for it..........visit their website..........and go and see them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2011
Mmmm the first three tracks are not the pineapple thief sound that i know i dont see i dont like it but it's different than i'm used to.from track 4 we here slowly the familiar sound of tpt coming up.but what i really mis are one or two long tracks such as,remember us,different world or too much to lose.not a bad album but certainly not one of the best tpt record.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2010
Fantastic album by this always inventive and highly talented band. Anybody who has not heard them before and likes bands such as Porcupine Tree, Riverside or prog rock in general should check this out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2013
They are one of the leading lights in the progressive field these days. One of there best albums and a great introduction to them.
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on 8 April 2013
I bought All The Wars and loved it so thought I'd get this, their previous album. I was not disappointed. A slightly different sound maybe to All The Wars but just as good. This band is massively underrated but I think that's a good thing as they are not spoilt by the music mainstream leaving their creative goodness for those of us in the know to enjoy.
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on 5 February 2013
With Someone Here is Missing, The Pineapple Thief should really hit the big time. A total classic that deserves to be heard by all prog rock fans.
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