The Pineapple Thief
Magnolia


2.6
average

Review

by Irving STAFF
September 6th, 2014 | 162 replies


Release Date: 09/16/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Pineapple Thief do themselves no favours.

Magnolia, The Pineapple Thief’s latest offering under the Kscope label, finds the English prog rock outfit opting to take a more direct approach to their brand of music. “[A]ll I care about now is writing a good song; I don’t think about whether it’s rock or progressive or commercial or anything like that,” explained founder and principal songwriter Bruce Soord. “It’s just that as time went on, I discovered I could say everything I wanted to say within a shorter period of time,” he added. But while there are often considerable advantages that come with adopting a route one approach towards making music, Soord and his compatriots also appear to have inadvertently conflated brevity with efficacy. To wit, a considerable chunk of the compositions on Magnolia are so limited in both size and scope that they hardly feel like the handiwork of a band that is already entering its tenth recording cycle.

The true extents of Magnolia’s weaknesses are disguised pretty well at first; the album opens with the aggressive one-two punch of “Simple as That” and “Alone at Sea”, both of which do a decent job of leading the record thanks to their judicious use of satisfying, widescreen riffs and copious amounts of sonic acreage. But the wheels really start to come off when The Pineapple Thief attempt to ease into a lower gear, with the glacial pace of songs like “Don’t Tell Me” and “Season’s Past” only serving to allow the listener’s attention to settle upon the lyrical train wreck that runs down the nervous system of this record. “But don’t look into my eyes and tell me you love me,” croaks Soord straight-facedly on the former, while the latter somehow manages to string two completely unrelated lines together (“We barely noticed the leaves fall; so stand here with me”). Elsewhere, the most remarkable thing about “From Me” is how it manages to build to nothing at all over a full two and a half minutes, while “A Loneliness” appears to have no ambition beyond wallowing in nauseating amounts of self-pity. There is the occasional reminder of past glories – “Coming Home”, for instance, manages to function as a spiritual successor 2006’s “Little Man”, while album closer “Bond” feels in part like a modern update of “So We Row”, but it remains a classic case of too little, too late.

Ceteris paribus, you’d probably be better off trying to get your prog rock fix elsewhere.



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user ratings (94)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Benjamin Kuettel STAFF (3.5)
Dynamic and emotional, Magnolia is one of The Pineapple Thief’s most diverse and surprising achiev...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

No Soundcloud/Bandcamp link available (sorry folks), but you can listen to an instrumental version of the title track here:



http://pineapplethief.com/video/

ChoccyPhilly
September 6th 2014


11782 Comments


Yaaayyy, this got a review

Heard the first single and I immediately assumed that this was going to be a huge disappointment it's clear that you agree. Very annoyed that there was no longer song and that they ditched most of the prog and acoustic driven songs.

Nagrarok
September 6th 2014


8588 Comments


All the Wars was already a step back from Someone Here is Missing, too bad they seem to continue the downward path here.

thanks to their judicious use of satisfying, widescreen riffs and copious amounts of sonic acreage


Ah, 'sonic acreage'. This is truly an Irving review! A fine job as usual, good sir ;)

Onirium
September 6th 2014


3035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, I was really disappointed by Simple as That, but if you say it's a highlight, then this must really be underwhelming.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

OMG NAGRAROK SIGHTING!!!



How have you been keeping man??!??!



Also how is "sonic acreage" a distinctive characteristic of an Irving review ahahahha

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

Also, band are incredibly fucking boring.[2]

Nagrarok
September 6th 2014


8588 Comments


How have you been keeping man??!??!


Doing just fine, of course my sputniking is a bit on/off, but so it has been for a while.

Also how is "sonic acreage" a distinctive characteristic of an Irving review ahahahha


Why Irving, only you could manage to throw in this fancy sort of vocabulary!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

There was a time when I thought I'd never see your tonberry avatar in and around these parts again, but it is very good to hear you are doing well. You are one of the characters I associate with my personal Golden Age of Sputnik, when it was the two of us, SS, Eli, Jethro42, Ty, Romulus, and a few others creating mile after mile of review comments threads ahahahaha (Brand New, Maiden, and Yes being our favourite haunts of course!).



Now that is said and done, kindly bless us with a review! ;)

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

PS - I still love Blof. Haha!

Nagrarok
September 6th 2014


8588 Comments


Oh yes, those were the days indeed! But really, where reviews are concerned, consider me to be on indefinite hiatus.

But it's great to hear that Blof stuck with you!

greg84
Emeritus
September 6th 2014


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like it more than you, Irving. Obviously it's not on par with Someone Here Is Missing.

Digging: Robyn - Honey

ExplosiveOranges
September 6th 2014


4408 Comments


Yay, Irving review! Might give this a go anyways, though.

Willie
Moderator
September 6th 2014


17611 Comments


I've never heard their older stuff (I don't think), but I liked this.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


17860 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Had high hopes for this given how great their last few were, might have to write a counter review when I can find this

Digging: Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen

Mad.
September 6th 2014


4735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, not sure I'll agree with the rating though.



They are a brilliant band with something unique to offer at their best but I'm getting the impression this continues All The Wars' shedding of their individuality.



Expect a review from me when I've heard this

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

There seem to have been a few pledges for a counter-review already, and if nothing else I'm really happy that such a conversation is developing and extremely interested to see what other folks might think of this once it drops.

ChoccyPhilly
September 6th 2014


11782 Comments


They might have had a unique sound, but they've pretty much abandoned most of that. It's not a bad thing and it's nice to see them progress, but I think their style and in particular, the quality of Bruce's voice, suits the subtle, acoustic prog kinda sound

jtswope
September 6th 2014


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I liked a few of their albums, but some of them bored the hell out of me, which makes me skeptical that I'd even enjoy this.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2014


7504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

Confession: I don't think many of their so-called "classic" tracks are very good at all...

ChoccyPhilly
September 6th 2014


11782 Comments


Not even the stuff from Little Man?



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