I don't know whether it's wise or not to review an album by The Pineapple Thief, because I'm not really a fan of their music. However, I found What We Have Sown a very enjoyable album and therefore I think my review of this re-release won't harm anybody at all. The album was originally released on CD by Cyclops Records in 2007. At the time it was their seventh studio album recorded by Bruce Soord (vocals, guitar), Wayne Higgins (guitar), Steve Kitch (keyboards), Jon Sykes (bass) and Keith Harrison (drums).
I must admit that I never listened to this album before. Now five years later and after listening to What We Have Sown a couple of times I have to conclude that this is a very pleasant alternative rock record containing folk and progressive rock elements. Generally the music features easy melodies, prominent acoustic guitars, fine electric guitars, complementary keyboards and above all lots of Mellotron. You'll hear a relatively restrained rhythm section that works rather well without being flashy. Most of the time, the instruments don't stand out as the vocals tend to be the dominating force. I would like to describe the music as an alternative version of Radiohead, but with more progressive rock influences.
The album opens with the Radiohead-influenced All You Need To Know featuring fine playing on the Mellotron. The first highlight is I Think That's What You Said. On this excellent piece you'll hear marvellous instrumental arrangements and fantastic choruses. West Winds is another fine, but completely instrumental piece with great textures; the more you play it, the more it grows on you. However, the lengthy title track is the absolute highlight containing almost thirty minutes of slow and mid-tempo music with some outstanding electric guitar parts played in the vein of Pink Floyd. Two bonus tracks, You Sign Out and Before It Costs Us, have been added to the original album. However, it's easy to say that these are the weakest tracks on this remastered album. They don't add anything to the six original tunes.
In general What We Have Sown is a good album. It's accessible, melancholic, dreamy and above all very pleasant to listen to. As far as I'm concerned this is the finest album The Pineapple Thief recorded to date.
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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