13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Pineapple Thief continue their positive musical evolution!,
This review is from: Someone Here Is Missing (Audio CD)
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!