The Pineapple Thief — Little Man
(Cyclops CYCL 155, 2006, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01
UK-based quintet The Pineapple Thief have built a healthy following for their brand of modern, indie-influenced prog rock. Their 2005 release 10 Stories Down sold 5,000 copies and they’ve become a popular draw on the concert circuit. For their new one, the songs were understandably refocused part way through the writing process when bandleader and songwriter / guitarist / vocalist Bruce Soord lost his son in a tragic accident. (Is it just me or is there a lot of death going around the prog community lately?) The end result is an album that is overall darker and more personal than past efforts. In places — “Run a Mile,” especially — the music strongly resembles Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing album, though for the most part the arrangements are clearly based on Soord’s introspective voice and rhythm guitar playing. It takes some skill to build a convincing band arrangement around what is essentially the singer-songwriter model, and here the album mainly succeeds. It’s modern in a Radiohead / Sigur Rós kind of way, though some may complain that it’s not very “progressive.” I’d agree if your sole definition of prog rock requires music to resemble one of the classic era bands, which this avoids for the most part. But that does not define success or failure with this band’s music. I can see arguments that the overall feel of the album is too depressing, though to that I’d say cut Bruce Soord some slack and hope for a happier statement next time.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more