Although I have been a dedicated follower of The Pineapple Thief for more than a decade now, I think the real breakthrough towards a bigger audience came when former Porcupine Tree and current King Crimson drummer Gavin Harrison joined the band. Since the previous album Dissolution, the latter also became bandleader, vocalist and guitarist Bruce Soord's right hand regarding the writing process. Musically the compositions became more rhythmically challenging, adventurous and gained more depth. Versions Of The Truth deepens the musical relation between the two dedicated musicians even more, showing a number of wonderful compositions.
Listen to the album's opener and title track Versions Of The Truth, where delicate percussive drum parts enhance the smooth vocal parts of Soord, supported by gentle piano parts of Steve Kitch. At first, the song sounds like it could be on one of Soord's solo albums, but the nice powerful midsection definitely makes this one a TPT song. Break It All is a bit heavier, more focus of the typical Harrison groove. However, in a way this song is a signature TPT composition and turns out to be one of my personal favourites on the album, just for the fantastic guitar drum groove in the mid-section. Demons is a fine accessible track, with both Soord's emotional vocals as well as atmospherically soundscapes. Also, the following Driving Like Maniacs became one of my favourite tracks, but this time for the emotion of the composition and the delicately doubled vocal parts. Leave Me Be and Too Many Voices could be the perfect songs to play live in our current situation, I think these tracks perfectly work live in a seated area, where people can focus on the track, more than actively participate in dancing clapping or singing along. I think that goes for the majority of the songs on Versions Of The Truth. Most of the songs are to be heard with dimmed light, headphones and your favourite beverage nearby. Our Mire could be an exception, this catchy, danceable track combines the emotional parts I referred to earlier, with catchy rhythms, fine piano parts and a U2 reminding bass at certain points. Nevertheless, it is the guitar solo, that defines the track! Talking of guitar, Out Of Line has some great sounding guitar parts, clean and melodic, contributing to the atmosphere of the song. Stop Making Sense and the final composition The Game are cool minimalistic compositions, fine percussive or keyboard parts and pure vocals; only towards the end, other instruments enter and take the song to it conclusion.
In the end, Versions Of The Truth turns out to be another wonderful TPT album. More emotional than the previous ones, perhaps crossing the bridge between Bruce Soord's solo albums and his band. On the other hand, it also could be the result of a writing process, when in lock-down. Nevertheless, the The Pineapple Thief fan is treated to another highlight in the band's career.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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