Bruce Soord is best known as the creative force behind The Pineapple Thief. The band actually started out as a side project for him and, like Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree, Soord was effectively the band at the start. Since then, TPT have become a band but Soord is still very much the leader and songwriter.
This leads to the obvious question, why does he need a solo album when he seems to be able to do anything he wants within the scope of The Pineapple Thief? I had the same question with regard to the debut solo album by Rikard Sjöblom. There’s a difference here though. While Rikard Sjöblom’s album is very close to what Beardfish does, Bruce Soord has effectively stripped many layers away on this self titled debut and the results feel very personal and raw.
Calling the album “Bruce Soord” is also a great move because it feels like a more personal introduction to the man himself. The songs are acoustic driven, with the occasional electric guitar overdub or solo like on “Buried Here.” Would these songs work on an album by The Pineapple Thief”? They would but not in this form. This album feels like you are listening to the very heart and soul of that band. “A Thousand Daggers” and “Leaves Leave Me” are packed with emotion, like the whole album really.
The one song that feels very different from the rest is the upbeat “The Odds” which would sound right at home on his Wisdom of Crowds project with Jonas Renske. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks because Wisdom of Crowds is a masterwork. Is this album a masterwork? I think it’s very close to that. Soord is a great songwriter and very talented musician. And this album allows the listener the best chance to experience both.
Did we need a solo album from Bruce Soord? Given the songs, production and sheer beauty of this album, this was definitely needed. “Bruce Soord” is a very personal glimpse into the very core of one of prog rock’s leading forces.
1. Black Smoke
2. Buried Here
3. The Odds
4. A Thousand Daggers
5. Willow Tree
6. Born In Delusion
7. Field Day Part 1
8. Field Day Part 2
9. Familiar Patterns
10. Leaves Leave Me