Album Review: Bruce Soord – All This Will Be Yours

bruce soordBruce Soord – All This Will Be Yours

Progressive Pop | Folk

73%

It’s amazing the things you learn when you’ve been running a music blog for a few years. From finding great new talents from the most unlikely locales, to discovering new genres that you were previously unaware of, there’s something new lurking behind every corner. If you were to ask me however what has been the most surprising trend I’ve come across in the past few years it would have to be the quality of solo records. The general consensus has always been that they are vanity projects, but in my experience this has consistently proven not to be the case. Time after time I find myself listening to work every bit as engaging (and sometimes even more so) that that of the band the artist is a part of.

I’m pleased to report that the new solo release from The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord continues that trend. Granted it’s not as impressive or dynamic as Dissolution, but within the frame of being a more personal and stripped back record, for the most part All This Will Be Yours can be considered a triumph. From the notes that fall like autumn rain on ‘The Secrets I Know’, and the mournful guitar on ‘The Solitary Path of a Convicted Man’, to the light and airy atmosphere of ‘Time Does Not Exist’, Bruce is in fine form. His vocals really shine on this release, sounding better than ever and proving to be one of the record’s strongest assets. And while the arrangements are mostly acoustic, they maintain a level of intricacy and command of melody consistent with TPT’s output to make the album stand out from all the other acoustic fare you’re likely to come across this year.

Another major selling point of this record that helps it hold up on its own, rather than just being a companion piece for fans of the band, is just how cohesive it feels. Written in the wake of welcoming a new child to the family, All This Will Be Yours revolves around the central theme of having to leave a broken world behind for the next generation to pick up the pieces, and all the shame, despair and frustration that comes with that. The Radiohead vibes of the title track tackles this brilliantly, as does album highlight ‘Our Gravest Threat Apart’, but even the tracks that don’t overtly face up to the big issues feel like they are still held together by the same central thread.

All that being said the record runs out of steam a little in the second half and a few cracks begin to appear. The aptly titled ‘One Misstep’ is great in every aspect but one; it’s overbearing percussion proves to be a tad too distracting. While the vocals on ‘You Hear The Voices’ are some of the best on the record, the track is hampered by heavy use of electronics. In isolation its electronic exploration is one of the better examples I’ve heard this year, but in the wider context of the album it feels rather out of place. The album’s only real skippable offering though would be ‘Cut The Flowers’, which ends up bringing both of the prior tracks’ flaws together but without any of the redeeming factors.

In the wider scheme of things though, even this is just a minor blemish upon what is otherwise a very engaging record. It does what every solo project should aspire to do; open up a two-way channel. To branch out toward a new horizon and bring existing fans along for the ride, as well as have the potential to reach fresh listeners and intrigue them enough to inspire them to dig deeper. Whichever side of the divide you find yourself on, All This Will Be Yours is well worth a listen.