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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
Whilst I accept I am a little biased as I have a long apreciation of both The Pineapple Thief and Katatonia, when my pre order arrived late last week, my expectation was not huge as I saw this album as more of a historical collaboration than a piece of music to stand on its own legs. How wrong was my expectation!

This album not only stands proudly on its own, but has become my first candidate for album of 2013.

The distinctive sound Bruce Soord brings to TPT is very much in evidence, but when you add Jonas's vocals to the mix, you have a slightly dark, without being meloncholy, melodic brooding piece of work that brings the both Bruce's and Jonas's talents to the fore. The song writing is tight, with constructive passages that cross musical boundaries, and the pace of the album is beautifully crafted. As you would expect due to the song writing influence, this is closer musically to TPT than Katatonia, but don't be mislead into thinking this is the TPT album not released by TPT. It is more diverse than TPT have been. The freedom this project has given to Bruce Soord is really telling in the expressive nature of the music. Add to this, the vocal freedom provided to Jonas and you have a side project that stands up against anything the two bands have delivered.

I wouldl highly reccomend you give this a try and let's hope it is just the start of a beautiful musical partnership!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2013
Not often an album comes out that could be considered truly special but this is one of them. I'm not too familiar with Katatonia so purchased this on the strength of the Pineapple Thief connection. Considering Bruce Soord performs all the instrumentation, leaving Jonas Renkse to vocal duties makes this music all the more remarkable for it's depth and feel. Rock, melody, industrial, folk all play a part here and it works! Purveyors of progressive sounds will keep this music playing for years to come. Strangely, I hope it's a one-off because it may not be topped, but on the other hand it may develop into something much bigger if the commitment to make it so prevails between the two of them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2013
This collaboration between The Pineapple Thief's Bruce Soord and Katatonias' Jonas Renske is simply brilliant.
Soord's songwriting is nothing short of excellent, evoking thoughts and memories from a few words and phrases, with progressive rock music that features overtones of dance music. Renske's has been taken out of the comfort zone of his usual Katatonia singing style, and is perfect for the music written for him to sing.
Modern prog rock at it's best
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2014
Here's a thing. I don't really like The Pineapple Thief, and I don't like Katatonia.

So why an earth did I buy 'The Wisdom of Crowds'?

Well I think Jonas Renkse voice is terrific and perhaps a little wasted in Katatonia. And Bruce Soord's reputation is such that I thought I'd give it a go, as a speculative buy.

And I didn't need to play it a few times to like it. The first play was enough. Indeed I was singing along to the songs on the first play - they are that melodic and that infectious.

This really is an album in the traditional sense. Rather than perhaps having one or two decent songs near the beginning, the quality is there throughout - an entire CD of terrific songs, without a single 'duffer'. And on the subject of 'single' there's a few amongst the track listing should really be decent radio play.

'Pleasure' is the first track and the song really bookends the recording, appearing n altered form as 'Flows Through You' - the official end-of-the-CD (more about this later).

But for me the middle of the recording is the best and their are four songs in particular that make this release so outstanding - 'Radio Star', 'Frozen North', 'The Light' and 'Stacked Naked'. All very different compositions and all of which showcase Soords' multi-instrumentalism and Renkses' fantastically-adaptable and riveting voice.

This is the real joy of this release - two individuals combining to write and perform songs they would never have even considered for their regular bands.

And finally, the last song. It is listed as 'Flows Through You'...but it isn't. There's one more track, (an Easter Egg?)

Buy the CD or vinyl and let that last track spin-out. Because at 8 minutes and 16 seconds in, there's an unnamed additional track. I don't know why Soord and Renkse didn't list/name it, because it is tremendous - seemingly heavily influenced by Chris Rea and a great way of emphasizing just how imaginative these two can be.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2013
More "commercial" than either artist might be viewed independently - but in a good way - and combining the musical skills of Soord and the vocal ability of Renske. The rationale for stepping outside the Pineapple Thief heading is clear and a great listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2014
Bruce Soord from the Pineapple Thief collaborates with Katatonia vocalist Jonas Renkse - the resulting album – Wisdom of Crowds – is a real treat for fans of progressive music. In some ways it’s the album I expected from Steven Wilson/Michael Akerfeldt’s Storm Corrosion collaboration. Instead that duo gave us something much more odd – but no less compelling. But I digress…

No, what we have here from Bruce isn’t an album that strays too far from his day job of The Pineapple Thief. Soord plays all the instruments – delivering a delightful blend of modern progressive rock, folk, pop, electronica and industrial. Fans of The Pineapple Thief would feel right at home, as would fans of Pink Floyd, Marillion, Anathema, The Gathering, The Porcupine Tree or even Muse.

What sets this album apart is the choice of vocalist. Don’t get me wrong – regular readers will know what a big fan I am of Katatonia’s work – but I wouldn’t have pegged Jonas Renkse as the ideal vocalist for such an album. I would be wrong though. Even shorn of the numerous ethereal effects he enjoy’s on Katatonia’s records Jonas sounds phenomenal on Wisdom of Crowds. He lends the whole album an air of melancholy. Bruce Soord wrote the album with Jonas in mind and it tells, it’s not often you here something that sounds so right. Even though here’s nothing approaching metal to be heard on the album Jonas sounds just perfect for the role.

So no metal riffing, but there are some very pleasing noisy guitar moments – particularly in the powerful second half of Frozen North, one of my favourite tracks from the album. There’s plenty of instrumental moments to enjoy; soulful soloing, interesting sound effects, powerful electronica beats and epic soundscapes.

Just as impressive as the bombast is Bruce Soord’s restraint. Here we have nine songs of modest length for progressive rock, with only two tracks just slipping over seven minutes. Other bands may have been tempted to record their (ripoff of) homage to Echoes, but there’s nothing so indulgent here. Instead it’s genuinely beautiful music married with perfect emotive vocals.

I’ll shut up now. Just go buy Bruce Soord and Jonas Renkse’s Wisdom of Crowds, a major candidate for album of the year. Take a listen…
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2013
So, I'm a big fan of The Pineapple Thief and Katatonia. To be honest, I prefer TPT, but that's just me. So, when I heard that there was going to be a collaboration between Messrs Soord and Renkse, I was interested.

`Frozen North' was included on the latest Prog Magazine sampler and as soon as I heard it I bought the CD. The collaboration could have been Renkse singing Pineapple Thief songs or Soord writing Katatonia songs. It's neither. Instead, you have (in my opinion, Katatonia fans!) the more melodic song-writing sensibilities of Soord combined with Renkse's quite splendid voice. The difference being that the vocals here are toned down a bit from what's required for Katatonia, affording Renkse a, dare I suggest it, sense of freedom.

There isn't a weak track on the CD, though it does feel a tiny bit samey in terms of pace and construction. As a first outing from an experimental pairing, however, it's just great. I can see it as an interesting side project that both gentlemen might be happy to continue with as and when their own band commitments allow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2013
Has a fan of The Pineapple Thief and Katatonia i was rather surprised when i heard they were joining forces for this,hopefully;long term project.
Like me ,fans of either band will find something to enjoy on this excellent album;and what at first seemed like a strange collaberation,as resulted in a worthy addition to their previous work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2014
Heard it for the first time in a music shop and got my attention. If you like instrumental music with some few similarities with Pink Floyd you will like this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2013
Really like Pineapple Thief so thought I would give it a try brilliant album would recommend it anyone who likes melodic rock
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