On their 11th album, The Pineapple Thief have assuredly opened up the horizons. It’s a cunning trick to pull off, but they manage to be intimate while at the same time exploding with expansive sounds. You can hear nods to Steve Wilson, Anathema, Barclay James Harvest and Marillion. But these are no more than signposts for music that can be frail and delicate, but also has a stony resilience.
You can feel the dichotomy of these textures throughout, but it’s most convincing on the cold yet inviting I In Exile, the stark yet warming That Shore and the smoothly corrugated passage of The Final Thing On Your Mind.
Mainman Bruce Soord’s vocals are breathless yet also sedate, complementing his skating guitar sounds. The guest presence of Supertramp’s John Helliwell on clarinet and Caravan’s Geoffrey Richardson working a string quartet adds an extra dimension. The Pineapple Thief’s best album yet? Immeasurably.