Pineapple Thief- Variations On A Dream (Cyclops)
review by Jim Clark

Track Listing

1.We Subside
2. This Will Remain Unspoken
3. Vapour Trails
4. Run Me Through
5. The Bitter Pill
6. Resident Alien
7. Sooner Or Later
8. Part Zero
9. Keep Dreaming
10. Remember Us



Most people have never heard of Pineapple Thief. Admittedly, I had never heard of the band until late 2002 when I picked up a copy of their second CD, 137 , based on positive reviews that I had read. I liked the disc so much that when I saw their new CD, Variations on a Dream , was to be released last spring, I jumped at the chance to order it. And it turned out to be easily my top CD of 2003.

Pineapple Thief is the project of Bruce Soord, who despite what the credits say, plays virtually everything on the disc. And he plays everything extremely well, from the orchestrated keyboards on "We Subside" and the instrumental "Resident Alien" to the killer guitar solo on "Part Zero" to the fine piano playing on "The Bitter Pill." And along with his skills as an instrumentalist and vocalist, Soord also shows that he's an excellent songwriter as Variations is filled with memorable tracks. Leading off the disc is "We Subside," a very subdued yet uplifting song filled with rich orchestrations and a highly emotional vocal. It features a fine guitar solo before letting the orchestra (well, fake orchestra) finish off.

"Vapour Trails," another standout, begins with acoustic guitar and sound effects before leading into Soord's singing. This track, which features some of the better programmed percussion on the disc, closes out with a cool vocal effect on Soord's voice. This is followed by "Run Through Me," a song with a driving rhythm and some great Hammond organ playing. It also includes one of Soord's better guitar solos to date.

But the true standout on this disc is the closing song, "Remember Us," which quite honestly is one of the best songs that I've heard in some time. Over 16 minutes in length, this track is a true epic that has it all - excellent singing, great sound effects in the middle section, cool synth work and superb guitar playing. As with most of the rest of the disc, this track features such an incredible depth to it that you can always find something new to it, even after dozens of listens. If only this track featured real drums instead of the drum machine that's used, it would be the perfect song. As it stands, it's still damn near perfect.

And the drum programming is the only complaint that I have about this disc. On tracks like "Run Through Me" and "Vapour Trails," it works without a problem, but on other numbers, it seems quite obvious that it's not a real drummer. Still, the songwriting on this disc is so good that it overcomes this. And this shouldn't be a problem any longer as Soord has recruited a band for the upcoming Pineapple Thief disc, which should be released later this year.

Also of note is that Soord really seems to come into his own as a vocalist. While on 137 he could sound a bit like Billy Corgan at times, here he has truly developed his own voice and sounds like, well, Bruce Soord.

In all, a truly exceptional disc that I couldn't recommend enough. Along with Porcupine Tree's In Absentia , this is my disc of the decade so far.


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mickey simmonds- the seven colours of emptiness
ukz- radiation
pain of salvation - scarsick
icon- icon II, icon live
the pineapple thief- tightly unwound
planet p project- levittown (go out dancing part II)
nosound- lightdark
dengue fever- venus on earth
art of all- morgan
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damien rice- 9
the who- endless wire
the beach boys- good vibrations
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