Sound — 8
The Pineapple Thief are always at their best when they write melancholic yet epic songs. "Little Man" is just that; an album of instant fan favourites. Somerset's The Pineapple Thief cross many genres with 2006's effort, including progressive, alternative, indie, electronic and art rock. Bruce Soord's writing is always very creative, but never alienating, which is immediately evident as the album kicks off with the fantastic emotion-filled "Dead In The Water". The main highlight of the album is the 7 minute "Run A Mile" with its crashing cymbals, tight bass and mixture of soaring and effect-laden vocals. The song "Little Man" is a very typical Pineapple Thief song; slow and poignant, yet beautiful and endearing at the same time. The rest of the album continues in this vain with harmonious orchestras, enchanting drums, mellow guitar lines and unexpected surprises. One of these surprises is the much darker "God Bless The Children", the continuation of the second track "God Bless The Child", where the vocals are distorted beyond recognition as being human. The final song on the album is the 9 minute "We Love You", which serves as a great way to end the CD, with its duality of moody, electronic verses and stunning choruses.
Lyrics — 9
Bruce Soord has a very angelic voice, with his words soaring above the music in all their clarity. His vocals on "Boxing Day" show why he has been compared to Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame; they both have a very similar delivery and sound. But don't think that The Pineapple Thief are just a Radiohead rip-off band, they are much more focused and experiment in different ways. Bruce only ever uses clean vocals, but does like to supplement them by using effects on his voice, but only where it actually enhances the song, and not just for the sake of it. Equally he knows when not to use vocals, (e.g. in the glorious outro to "Snowdrops"), which for some bands can be their Achilles Heel.
Overall Impression — 9
The Pineapple Thief is a band that can only get bigger, as they continue (and have continued) to grow into a truly unique band which mixes an ever-evolving group of influences. Although Bruce Soord's singer/songwriter style approach to his writing can overshadow the rest of the band's performance, the band is very solid and musically skilled too, making for a very pleasurable listening experience. For many The Pineapple Thief will not be well known, but for those wondering if you should investigate, their closest similarities are Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, A Perfect Circle and Hurt. "Little Man" is a record which has many dark corners, perhaps even too many, but equally each track shines in the radiant glory of The Pineapple Thief's masterful song writing.