Album Reviews Bruce Soord - All This Will Be Yours

Published on 6th January 2020

Bruce Soord – All This Will Be Yours


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Since Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief released his first eponymous solo album in 2015 he has seen ‘The Thief’ go from strength to strength, with the recruitment of Gavin Harrison of King Crimson and Porcupine Tree fame and releasing two very fine albums leading to an enhanced profile, burgeoning reputation, US tours and a greatly increased following.  This left little time for other projects until more recently, following the birth of his baby daughter in Autumn 2018. The arrival of a baby impelled Soord to reconsider his perspectives on his own life and the world around him. All This Will Be Yours is the result of bringing up a new life, full of hope and promise, into a world in which positivity has been sorely lacking of late. There is a tension between those poles which has inspired Bruce to write an album of contemporary English melancholia which feels fresh, vibrant and modern and yet somehow simultaneously harks back to the linear vinyl Prog album experiences of former times, perhaps reflecting the regret and nostalgia Soord may feel about the decline of his home town.

The 2015 Bruce Soord album had already seen him return to his roots in Yeovil in England to explore his past through an evocative set of emotionally infused musical impressions. Soord’s music combined a lament with a sense of celebration for his decaying hometown. All This Will Be Yours underlines his feelings of lament but expands on that position from a different perspective. His daughter’s birth helps him see the world anew through the prism of parenting a much younger child again after quite some time (he has older children), but also focusing on some of the decline and negativity witnessed around him. In a recent PROG magazine piece he observed: ‘In the last few months, my wife and I have gone out for walks with the baby around my hometown. It’s a typical suburban town with terrible drug problems so there’s the juxtaposition of a happy baby, who’s loved every moment of her life, and you’re then looking at the world she’s come into. The last couple of years, globally, have been a bit scary…’ There is even a direct reference in the title track to the deprivation witnessed on such walks, mentioning a local drug den near his house through which he has witnessed the inevitable decline of the property and its occupant, whilst in the background of the song sirens sound and his guitar eerily mimics the noise in subtle effect-laden notes;

“Let’s just take a walk, Push past 158, There’s no Time to Talk.”

Those walks provided Bruce Soord with some interesting ‘Field’ recordings which add telling details to the album, including kids playing and the sound of an old man singing outside his house (on Our Gravest Threat Apart). These sound clips give the album a sense of authenticity, rooting it in gritty reality, especially the recurring sound of sirens. However, interesting sound clips would count for very little without quality in composition, lyricism and performance… and with someone of the talent and sensitivity of Soord, we are assured songwriting of the highest calibre delivered impeccably and soulfully. The scene is set with the opening couplet of songs as a gentle acoustic guitar lies under Soord’s delicate, gossamer-thin vocals in The Secrets I Know and he starkly lays out the juxtaposition of the hope and fragility of new life within the context of darker times:

“Move forward at all costs,
Protection at all costs, I’m already mourning your loss.”

With a spasm we segue directly into Our Gravest Threat Apart as Soord intones, echoing over an ominously pulsing and chiming synth backing:

“There has to be another way…
We are a beautiful force together
Our gravest threat apart.”

The analogies for the divisions of recent times are unmistakable. This is a remarkable and striking opening pair of songs which immediately immerse the listener in the tension felt by Soord. Our journey takes a very different path, almost literally as Soord strums a guitar and his lyrics sorrowfully walk The Solitary Path of a Convicted Man, like some sort of modern-day English Johnny Cash – yes, really – there’s even a dash of a Western-type electric guitar!

What is clear from this album is the excellence of Bruce Soord’s vocals. He has admitted that in the past he thought of himself as a guitarist who sang, but he is now much more confident about his fine singing voice and he has evidently paid a lot of attention to how he sings these heartfelt and personal songs. His voice is like another instrument used intuitively and with great subtlety.

Time Does Not Exist is a truly beautiful showcase for Soord’s soft tones as he describes the feeling of timelessness he feels in his daughter’s presence and nothing else matters. Indeed, he has shared that his baby daughter was often with him in his home studio whilst recording, to the extent that she may have made little rattle noises when he recorded parts and he sometimes left them in the recording.

All This Will Be Yours was written as linear pieces with distinctive parts. Needless to say, there are echoes of The Pineapple Thief but this material is lower key and much less intense. However, the more extended and elaborate You Hear The Voices could conceivably have appeared on a ‘Thief’ album with its layers of throbbing and swirling synths, effects and percussion – it’s certainly a highlight on an outstanding album and exudes a sense of foreboding, but also an acceptance of what is to be faced as the chaos rises in intensity at the end. Cut the Flowers is a hypnotic multi-layered piece with imagery and symbolism which seems to reflect the contradiction at the heart of this finely balanced album – the image of flowers at a cemetery suggesting a peaceful place steeped with sorrow, but also evocative of love and remembrance.  Soord has come a long way since the personal tragedy which so sadly inspired much of The Pineapple Thief’s 2006 Little Man album, but there’s still a soft beguiling brittleness in his voice and lyrics. All This Will Be Yours concludes with the elegiac One Day I Will Leave You which appears to be Soord eulogising his own future passing hopefully for his newborn daughter:

“One day I will leave you, but we will be as one
With all our perfect points in time, bound into one
Don’t mourn my passing, I was always passing through,
No don’t mourn my passing, I’ll always be with you.”

To be honest, it’s almost impossible to think of anything better that one could say to your children about one’s own passing – it’s a perfect end to the album, and a great gift to his child. This gently building understated song shimmers with delicately expressed emotion, seemingly balanced on that tightrope between sadness and hope, darkness and light, death and life… it’s a beautiful end to a captivating album from a special artist.

TRACK LISTING
01. The Secrets I Know (2:24)
02. Our Gravest Threat Apart (4:14)
03. The Solitary Path of a Convicted Man (3:44)
04. All This Will Be Yours (6:04)
05. Time Does Not Exist (3:33)
06. One Misstep (4:00])
07. You Hear the Voices (6:54)
08. Cut the Flowers (4:35)
09. One Day I Will Leave You (5:17)

Total Time – 40:05

MUSICIANS
Bruce Soord – Vocals, All Instruments
~ with:
‘Unknown man singing in the street, somewhere in Yeovil’ (track 2)

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Kscope
Catalogue#: KSCOPE489
Date of Release: 11th October 2019

DISCOGRAPHY
• Bruce Soord (2015)
• All This Will Be Yours (2019)
~ with The Pineapple Thief (Studio):
• Abducting the Unicorn (1999)
• One Three Seven (137) (2002)
• Variations On A Dream (2003)
• 10 Stories Down (2005)
• Little Man (2006)
• What We Have Sown (2007)
• Tightly Unwound (2008)
• Someone Here is Missing (2010)
• All The Wars (2012)
• Magnolia (2014)
• Your Wilderness (2016)
• Dissolution (2018)

LINKS
Bruce Soord – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Info at Kscope

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