The Pineapple Thief has been on the rise during their past couple of albums, buoyed by the addition of drummer extraordinaire Gavin Harrison and a fresh enthusiasm for songwriting and touring. As their chief architect Bruce Soord prepares to release his second solo album, the timing appears to be a bit curious considering that his band is on the cusp of launching their first-ever North American tour, as well as simultaneously releasing their own live album from an earlier leg of the “Dissolution” tour. So, is there enough justification for a Soord solo album amidst this hub of The Pineapple Thiefactivity? In a word: yes.
It will come as no surprise that “All This Will Be Yours” is rooted in broody, acoustic guitar-laden songwriting. The template is not that far off from recent The Pineapple Thiefalbums, with the harmonic chimes of the acoustic guitar ringing through the landscapes of storytelling laid forth by Soord. This aspect leads to an initial fear that the result may be The Pineapple Thief-lite, as it doesn’t boast the drumming prowess of Harrison or the input from the other band members. Fortunately, Soord employs his secret weapons of arrangement and masterful production, offering a hypnotic and enveloping recording which transports his vocal and musical delivery beyond normal singer-songwriter fare. While not as risky and inventive as his collaboration with Jonas Renkse in Wisdom of Crowds, Soord has hit upon a beautiful approach to share his ongoing creativity. It’s hard to imagine a The Pineapple Thief fan who wouldn’t adore this recording.
Much of the inspiration for “All This Will Be Yours” came from the birth of his third child, even as she was present in the recording studio as he wrote new material. One can imagine lyrics such as “Oh this time is so still as you press your heart to mine” and “Our eyes lock, and time does not exist” being born from tender moments between father and newborn child. However, the lyrical content does not linger with sentimental fancy…it is usually intertwined with contrasting observations on the harsh realities of life on the streets around his hometown. Indeed, Soord incorporates recordings taken from his walks through the neighborhood into some of the material: sirens wailing, kids playing, pedestrians passing by muttering or singing. We feel this juxtaposition of love and foreboding immediately on opening track “The Secrets I Know” as he sings: “The new day lights up your eyes, and keeping its secrets at bay,” followed by, “All I can see is you swept away from me, and clutching the secrets I know…I’m already mourning your loss.”
The production is sublime throughout, capitalizing on Soord’s musical abilities on a variety of instruments and his inventive, creative arrangement ideas. While some of the material at first appears straightforward such as on “You Hear the Voices”, halfway through it transforms into an electronic journey with bubbling synth lines jacking up the intensity for the remaining four minutes. Other songs have more of a band-approach to them like the glorious “Cut the Flowers” which harkens to a Wisdom of Crowds vibe, the anthemic “One Misstep”, or the transcendent title track which was released with a video ahead of the album. Album closer “One Day I Will Leave You” showcases the genius of Soord: beautifully emotive vocals over a simple chord progression which lays on a bed of sonic bliss, at once transfixing and addicting.
Fans of The Pineapple Thief are going to have a full time of it, as 2019 goes out with a bang as “All This Will Be Yours” battles for rotation with the forthcoming live album “Hold Our Fire”. The only downside to a solo album this strong is that precious little (if any) of it will get aired on stage during The Pineapple Thief’s upcoming tour of North America. Fortunately, Soord has already booked a couple of solo shows with bandmate Jon Sykes accompanying him. Fans should be encouraged to know that regardless of which banner he is flying under, Soord is writing and releasing high quality material that is consistently engaging.
Released by: Kscope
Released Date: October 25th, 2019
Genre: Progressive Rock
“All This Will Be Yours” Track-listing:
1. The Secrets I Know
2. Our Gravest Threat Apart
3. The Solitary Path Of A Convicted Man
4. All This Will Be Yours
5. Time Does Not Exist
6. One Misstep
7. You Hear The Voices
8. Cut The Flowers
9. One Day I Will Leave You
Amidst a bevy of activity from his band The Pineapple Thief, Bruce Soord surprises with an engaging and transfixing solo album which makes the most of his vocal and musical talents, along with his sublime skills in arranging and production. A must for all fans of his day-job band.