Pineapple Thief, The - 10 Stories Down

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 144
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:30:00

It's full steam ahead from the very first second into this new album by Britain's biggest hope for the future when "Prey For Me" drips from your speakers. A handful of seconds later the audio explosion halts and introduces the acoustic guitar that will later on mingle with tons of mellotron and heavy distorted electric guitar. When the wonderful violin is added the music suddenly starts sounding a little like vintage Kansas. This is the sound of youth shouting their disbelief to the world, disbelief that this fantastic band still hasn't been picked up by one of the majors. The way "Prey For Me" is composed they can let it run forever. It's Bruce Soord's soft whispering voice which sets the tone for "Clapham" a semi-acoustic song which introduces very few instruments in its arrangement. Again the omni-present mellotron adds the necessary energy to lift this wonderful, melodic and even romantic song. Not only the guitar is treated, as so is Bruce's voice in "Wretched Soul" where once again we have soft passages and heavy outbursts side by side. Maybe for the very first time The Pineapple Thief on this album is a real band as opposed to the "project" feel of the previous albums. Not only does a "real" band give TPT the possibility to perform live, it also takes a lot of weight from Bruce's shoulders, as this time around every single member can chip in where composing is concerned.

I can fully understand that Coldplay fans might fall for the effective simplicity of a track like "The World I Always Dreamed Of" even if it clocks in at a mere seven minutes! Release a slightly more commercial but surely edited mix of this song and for sure it will enter the charts (if enough money is made available to fund the ongoing payola). Violin joins acoustic guitar and Fender Rhodes piano for the intro of "Start Your Descent," a folky yet pure song that in a way is so simple but very effective. That's genius if you can do that. More with less! The use of the accordion is strictly limited here only to have it as a gimmick within the arrangement. It's like building a house brick by brick until the powerful guitar knocks it all down again. Honest campfire music is what I make of "It's Just You And Me," a song for lovers and sung with the right amount of love and adoration until Bruce throws a huge log on the fire and we get the sparks flying off in all directions.

When we listen to Coldplay and dissect how a track is conceived and executed we have to be honest and say that it's all rather simple. The same can be said about the best known Beatles songs. It's exactly that strength which lies within The Pineapple Thief as we can once again witness during "The Answers," where Bruce's vocals (sometimes his voice reminds me of Anthony Phillips'), are like carried away by clouds with violin showing the way. The melody is so fragile it could be used as an alternative lullaby. For sure I would have "sweet dreams" all night long when I listen to this song whilst lying in bed. It probably would work out better than that "old" cup of cocoa! Sometimes the music of The Pineapple Thief sounds hypnotic, psychedelic even, with words or sentences being repeated over and over whilst the background music swells constantly, before taking a couple of steps back to start all over again. TPT's music often sounds like the washing of the sea, sometimes being very far in the distance and the next [moment] close enough to make you run home wet to fetch your swimming trunks. Even if The Pineapple Thief tries to shun the comparaison with Porcupine Tree or Steve Wilson in general, the Porcupine Tree resemblance will probably remain for some time, as will be names such as Coldplay and Radiohead. But The Pineapple Thief is more than that. All they really need is one big push towards the upper regions of the charts. The rest, as they say, will be child's play.

As happened with the band's previous studio offering Variations On A Dream the first 1000 or so copies also include a bonus album. As it concerns a full album I will review this in a separate review.

Prey For Me (6:39) / Clapham (4:28) / Wretched Soul (4:59) / The World I Always Dreamed Of (7:10) / Start Your Descent (3:54) / My Own Oblivion (3:39) / It's Just You And Me (4:56) / The Answers (5:22) / From Where You're Standing (4:03) / I Will Light Up Your Eyes (15:34)

Bruce Soord - guitars, vocals, keyboards
Matt O'Leary - keyboards, cow bell
Wayne Higgins - guitars, backing vocals
Keith Harrison - drums, cymbals, backing vocals
Jon Sykes - bass, backing vocals

Abducting The Unicorn (1999)
137 (2002)
Variations On A Dream (2003)
Variations On A Dream - Ltd. Edition (2003)
Live 2003 (2003)
12 Stories Down (2004)
4 Stories Down (ep) (2005)
10 Stories Down (2005)
Little Man (2006)
What We Have Sown (2007)
Tightly Unwound (2008)
Someone Here Is Missing (2010)
Someone Here Is Live (2010)
All The Wars (2012)
Live At The 013 (2013)
Magnolia (2014)
Your Wilderness (2015)
Live 2014 (2015)
Where We Stood (2017)
Dissolution (2018)

Live 2003 (2004) (DVD+CD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: September 25th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1058
Language: english


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