Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Enjoyable...will make me explore their back-catalogue further.
on 23 August 2008
I had previously bought "Variations on a Dream", "10 Stories Down" and "What We have Sown" by Pineapple Thief and very nearly did not buy this, their current album, because "Variations on a Dream" is the only one that I really enjoy listening to. Pineapple Thief's sound can be quite heavy, a mass of guitars and keyboards jamming away and it takes a bit of getting used to - probably needs more time to assimilate than I am ready to spend on new music these days I guess.
Their sound is not a million miles from Porcupine Tree's more recent soundscape, although they are not as dark in their songwriting as that band.
I ended up deciding to buy it some time after its release more as a gesture of support really - I enjoy progressive rock as a genre and find it encouraging that there's new artists wanting to explore it. Also, most bands make a few dud albums over a career, so because I do enjoy "Variations on a Dream" I thought I'd give them one more (and probably final if I hadn't liked it) chance.
I'm glad I did give them the chance - "Tightly Unwound" is very enjoyable, probably as much as "Variations on a Dream" and has made me want to go back and re-listen to those two other albums that I've been uncertain about. It's also made me want to explore a bit more of their back-catalogue, irrespective of how I end up feeling about "10 Stories Down" and "What we have Sown".
One of the things I enjoy the most about "Tightly Unwound" is the way that Bruce Soord, Pineapple Thief's song-writer and front-man, constantly weaves acoustic guitar textures into the music. Occasionally, such as on the romantically beautiful opener "My Debt to You", it is the main musical texture. Elsewhere, the acoustic guitar is part of a much heavier wall of sound, such as on the first of the album's major opus's, the 11-minutes of "Different World".
Also pleasing is the richness of the melodies, even when the music is quite heavy, "Shoot First" being a good example. Another highlight throughout is the imaginative drumming, always adding interest to the music, making the album quite strong rhythmically as a result.
Highlights for me are the tracks I've already mentioned plus the catchy "My Bleeding Hand" which has some excellent guitar work and the closing number, another long opus, "Too Much To Lose". Starting quietly with piano, synthesizer and bird sounds, the song develops into a heavy jam during the sung verses, going quiet again before becoming quite ethereal in its final part - a good psychological thriller!
Plenty to enjoy then, and I'm going to have to go back and check those other albums! Just a shade off a 5-star rating, I'd have given it four and a half if I could.