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Magnolia (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Pineapple Thief spent more than a decade winning audiences over to their unique, hook-laden brand of highly skilled modern prog by the time they released 2010's sublime Someone Here Is Missing. On 2012's excellent All the Wars, they seemed to exceed their own and their label's marketplace expectations by nearly winning mass acceptance as well as critical acclaim. Magnolia is a very abrupt shift toward the pop fences. While PT have always had an indie rock element readily apparent in their sonic and musical architecture, this set moves almost all the way over to that side — deliberately. With new drummer Dan Osborne helping out on the production, the quartet has reined in the instrumental sprawl — none of these 15 songs is over five-and-a-half minutes. The hooks are more elemental; the sense of space and exploration not so much. Opener "Simple as That" is driving; its hook is based more on a nearly overused guitar riff; while the woozy title track is gorgeously textured pop. The twin guitar and bass vamps in "The One You Left to Die" create a constant throb under the melody that actually suggests the heyday of That Petrol Emotion, and the closer, "Bond," with its martial drumming, starts broodingly in a minor key and evolves into something approaching an anthem with cinematic strings and trumpet. [Magnolia was also released with bonus tracks, four of which were acoustic versions of songs on the CD.]

Customer Reviews

Best Prog Album of the Year

This album is absolutely superb. From the heavy hitting guitars of the melodic beast of Alone at Sea, to the lush and beautifully composed strings of Seasons Past the album is a true wonder, and a gem in it's entirety. It removes the stereotype of Prog being just meandering guitar, 13 minute songs, and a lack of melody just for the sake of originality. The songs are just simply gorgeous, emotional, melancholic, high energetic, and rare for prog accessible
Simple as that: (3/5): Not my favorite but a great way to open the album with guitars softly picking the verses, and distortion coming into a heavy rhythmic chorus over Bruce Soords harmonizing soaring vocals. Shows of both aspects of the album as a whole.
Alone at Sea: (5/5): An amazing romp that manages to be groovy, original, melodic, emotional and heavy. Synth and bass themed verses lead into another harmonized chorus yet this one carries much more weight and emotion then the previous in my opinion. One of my favorite tracks of the record that one can simultaneously headbang and do some introspection to getting carried away in the clear emotions of desperation, and power the band is trying to convey.
Don't tell me: (3/5): What you could call the first of many ballads on the record. It is beautiful melancholic and emotional as expected form this album but runs a little short, ending with a crescendo that sounds like it could build further then it did.
Magnolia: (3/5): Interesting track that makes use of string and scarce delayed electric guitar chords coming over a strumming acoustic. Fun to listen to but it can feel a little aimless as there is technically only one verse and two choruses with other sections that do not feel as strong as the ones just mentioned.
Seasons Past: (5/5): One of the most gorgeous orchestral arrangements I have listened to in recent memory. Many artists attempt to throw strings in lazily with ballads, or to add drama to songs and it is almost becoming a cliche. HOwever, with this song the pineapple thief remind us of the impact strings and orchestras can make if utilized well as they had previously proved with All the Wars, or One Step Away. The track builds and builds as it goes along coming to a much more satisfying ending then Don't tell me. Stunning lush song that'll take your breath away on the first listen.
Coming Home: (4/5): A fresh haunting clean guitar melody opens, soon followed by the strings this time used for drama more so then emotion or melody. Works very well.
The One you Left to Die: (5/5): Another favorite of mine. For the verse it uses a pounding base and pulsing strings providing the perfect base for Soords softer vocals. The first Chorus shifts gear and takes the softer emotional melodic structure of previous ballads. It is then followed by a verse increased in intensity by the help of increased strings and electric guitar until it reaches the second chorus which takes everything the song had so far and combines it in the same chord progression as the first chorus. The song fades out softly and elegantly.
Breath: (2/5): Kicks off with a very heavy guitar intro followed by clean versus. The song faces a couple of problems. It is very short and does not develop, for the heavy chorus it reuses motives from Simple as That or Alone at Sea, and for the soft versus it recycles elements from Don't Tell Me. The most uninteresting track on the record though not a bad one.
From me: (4/5): Short but sweet. The Pineapple Thief only utilize a piano, Soords vocals, strings and choir for this song and comes to be one of the most haunting, passionate and depressing songs on the record.
Sense of Fear: (4/5): A great heavy song that causes a good sandwich affect of From me providing a break between breath and this track. Once again proves the pineapple thief can do more then just emotional ballads.
A Loneliness (4/5): Perhaps best sums up the theme of isolation, looniness, and general melancholy presented as a whole. Wonderfully sad and introspective with echoing guitar plucking the melody. The song is scarce of many of the more dramatic elements of the record (swelling strings, intense bass, dramatic vocal harmonies) and is a nice refreshing change of pace. Proves a ballad can be effective when it is scarce and simple as well.
Bond: (5/5): A truly amazing closer to the albums. Like many of the songs it begins softly and builds up to extreme lengths of emotion. The chorus of this song manages to be gripping, catchy, and melodic. There is also an extremely pleasing horn solo that once again manages to add to the song rather then just being there for the sake of it. Perfect way to end the whole affair. I left this album remembering that there are still artists making amazing music even if it's hard to stumble across.

Another Jem!!!

Please tour the east coast of teh USA!!!!

Nice work

Bruce and company do it again.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Yeovil, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

British prog rock band the Pineapple Thief began as the passion project of frontman Bruce Soord in Yeovil, Somerset in 1999. Initially, Soord worked alone. He thought the venture would only last one album -- quickly naming the band after a scene from the 1997 independent film Eve's Bayou -- and did not expect the positive reception the band would receive over the course of their first few releases. The Pineapple Thief's first album, Abducting the Unicorn, was released in 1999. Originally titled Abducted...
Full Bio
Magnolia (Deluxe Version), The Pineapple Thief
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