Who is the band? What was the inspiration behind this album?
“In April 2008 The Pineapple Thief launched the K- Scope label with the critically acclaimed album, Tightly Unwound “.
“While the album was many people’s introduction to the band they have actually spent the past ten years quietly building up a dedicated fan base across the globe, nurturing their ‘bittersweet’ progressive sound”.
“The band returns in May 2010 with their new album Someone Here Is Missing. The album also features artwork by the legendary designer Storm Thorgerson, who is famous for creating some of the most recognizable artwork of the last 30 years including albums by Pink Floyd (Dark Side Of The Moon, Division Bell, Pulse), Muse, Led Zeppelin, Biffy Clyro and many more”. (Source: Pineapple Thief MySpace, 2010).
Wow! The anticipation for this one was unbelievable. I was already a fan and was anticipating this one, but the Facebook announcements that Storm Thorgeson was doing the album cover really further energized me to want this CD.
1. Nothing at Best opens with a Muse beat, and is filled with synthesizers and Verve sounding vocals. The video that accompanies this first single is also an interesting noir-esque film. The crash that comes with drums, cymbals, heavy bass, and ripping guitars blasts this one open wide. Then, Bruce Soord takes over with vocals delivered straight at you, “Yeh, it was me.” “I give you nothing at best to hold on to.” “You said, you had enough.” “So you said.” “It’s never felt so right.” “But I am telling you to run for your life.” The film noir feeling really cuts through direct. The driving synths and drums are wonderful and give this song allot of drama and life. If you like Muse’s Resistance, you will think this one picked up right where that one left off. Only stronger. The rumbling drama of the synths keep you hanging and waiting for what’s next. The drum blasts towards the end of this song are epic. Off to a great start. The single has hooked you in and the rest of the album will not let you go.
2. Wake up the Dead, boldly blasts open with thumping drums and more cool synth effects. But this one will be even better than the preceding song. Soord’s vocals come in faster and deliver a more powerful message. “It’s not the same…any more.” Yeh, this album hits on all cylinders where others have had peaks and valleys. “I’m gonna find out what’s in your head.” “We’re not the same...any more.” The drums are fantastic and the solid bass and guitar rock to a perfect beat. Then the rhythm changes into a very danceable melody which will at the least have you tapping your feet and at best playing air drums. The guitar power chords rev this one up to high altitude, and if you don’t feel alive with this one, check for a pulse.
3. The State We’re In - Guitar chords open this one with Soord almost whispering, “I won’t give in.” “Fighting until the end.” “The state we’re in.” Reminds me so much of Muse’s Resistance, but this is more dynamic and the vocals more powerful. There is almost a strong sense of Coldplay as well, until the blast of guitar and drums remind you this is Pineapple Thief. You can definitely see some influence, especially with the orchestration, which hums its way through the middle of the song. The orchestration lifts and surrounds Soord’s vocals and really drive the emotions of the song. One of the better songs on the album.
4. Preparation for Meltdown – Thunder drum effects and synths that cut the air and rip at the soundscape. Then the guitar joins in with bass. “I want to say no more.” “Stop messing with my head.” Soord does a great job of creating the atmosphere and feeling of each song. The drift away synth effects are so cool before the melody and rhythm begin again. This album is seamless with slight bridges that keep the listener engaged. The violent power chords, drum, bass, and synths that follow are some of the best on the album. That Muse level use of great synths has been missing from prog recently and PT joins in to help with the return. The second best song on the album. Enough power to fill an auditorium. An epic power grinder filled with short breaks for effect. The sawing guitars at the end are memorable. 7:27 of power jams. Prepare your ears and mind for confrontation.
5. Barely Breathing – The third best song on the album and one of the best love songs I’ve heard in a while. Soft piano and acoustic, then the vocals, “Alone and still, I’m barely breathing.” “I lie awake and watch you dreaming.” “Hold you close as if to reason with all the years I wish I knew.” Yeh, this one pulls you deep into the story. The lyrics are perfect and emotionally full of impact. “I never gave enough to you my love.” “I never said enough to you my love.” Just beautiful in every way.
6. Show a Little Love – The slow bass guitar and building drama begin anew. “It’s plain to see the walls are closing in for you and me.” “I cannot help it if I’m taking the wrong way down.” Then the drums and soaring guitars roar back to life and the instrumental blitz begins. The synths are back and are wrapping the sound with a cool vibe. The bass and that trigger finger synth is like an electric roving cannon which rips in and out, creating effects which keep you riveted to your seat. Then, just when you’re comfortably in the chair, the blasting begins with guitars and drums. Another of the best songs on the album. “Taking another shot when I’m down.” Yep, that’s it.
7. Someone Here Is Missing – Beautiful acoustic guitar before the title track lyrics begin, “In tears, is no one listening.” “And oh someone here is missing.” Drums, bass, percussion and synths drive the title song with orchestration and the full power turned to the hilt as the climb reaches its peak.
8. 3000 Days – The track not included on the album with the same name. An over 6 minute run of emotion and power after a soft electric guitar intro. Power drums, grinding guitars full of distortion, and that amazing synth just doing their work to create drama and effect. Then the acoustic guitar jumps in supported by bass, drums and Rush level electric guitars. “I’ve been running around in circles.” “3,000 Days, we barely found the time to waste our precious lives.” The lyrics sum up the feeling of putting together the first 3,000 days of the band’s existence and climb to fame. The rocking guitars and distortion filled effects will make you yell, don’t stop!
9. So We Row – The epic and my favorite song on the album. Gets real close to unseating Different World as my favorite PT track ever. This one leaves you with a solid memory and hope the next one will be just as good.
I used to use a rowing machine when I was participating in high school and college football, so I know exactly what it feels like to row on forever. Let’s just hope this is the album that pays off and helps this band rock to stardom after rowing hard to get as far as they have. This song captures all the feeling and power of the heavy lifting as well as the exhilaration of accomplishing something great.
The song opens with percussion sounds then bass, synths and rhythm as the tempo builds.
You feel the rowing from beginning to end. The synths surround you as you wait for what’s next. “I want to say how much I need just to break, a little break.” Don’t we all. “I want to go away and try, just to waste a little time.” “I want to go away and find a place for you and I.” “So we row.” Then the rowing begins in earnest. The sounds of the music provide a rowing rhythm and you are right there in it. Few songs can actually achieve the emotion and effect as well. The power grows with each stanza. There is a short break before the rhythm builds again with cool synths and other percussion dynamics. Echoes and cool distortion as the smashing row begins again. You can almost visualize Soord rowing in the middle of a North Sea churn as the spacey synth surrounds you. “And so I row to the edge of the world.” The drama and volume pick up as the immediacy of the climax reaches its pinnacle. You really won’t want this one to end.
Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre?
This is a solid album full of perfect songs with no throw away tracks. Although I’m a fan, some of their albums have had their peaks and valleys. This one is really seamless and fills the listener with brilliant moments of music. The non - stop nature of the album is one I hope they never will change.
Bruce Soord’s vocals grip the listener throughout as the lyrics are well thought out and full of emotion and power. Steve Kitch uses the synthesizer and keys perfectly to build effect and surround the listener with a soundscape which leaves a lasting impression. He creates signature sounds without duplicating all that his peers and predecessors have done. Keith Harrison’s drum work will be remembered long after the album ends. Jon Sykes opening bass chords on some of the songs keep you on the edge of your seat. This band is poised for stardom and this album is the vehicle which should get them there.
Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Absolutely! Currently sitting at number two on my list of albums of the year. Haven’t stopped playing it since I bought it a couple of days ago. It captured my attention so much, that I felt I had to try to write the review while the power and magic of the experience were high. One of the best albums of 2010, so far.
Rating: 10/10 – Keep up the good work! This one should take them close to the top of the progs.
Reviewed by Prof on June 8th, 2010