Veteran bands releasing new albums is always a risky proposition. The emotional responses to such albums quickly fork, as we are confronted with wide decision trees: should we take each album as it comes or embed them into the grander, historical context of the band’s discography? Are we obligated to be “harder” on these albums or should our familiarity with the band and their past achievements mollify our criticisms? These, and many more, make listening to such albums a complicated task. This trepidation is even further bolstered if the band’s latest release a wildly successful experiment, a popular divergence from their established norm. It adds a host of new data points to the already intricate equation, questions revolving around momentu, thoroughness and expectations.
This is the full gamut of consideration one must take in mind when approach The Pineapple Thief‘s Your Wilderness. Not only have these guys been around for a substantial amount of time, but their last album, Magnolia, was a wonderfully angry, often bright, departure from their established sound. What then, should one expect when playing this new album? And, should these expectations be dashed, what should be the listener’s reactions? Thankfully, Your Wilderness shouldn’t leave too many of those expectations dashed in the open minded listener. It’s by no means a sequel to Magnolia as its tone returns to the fundamental hues that have always made up The Pineapple Thief’s pallette, namely melancholy, resignation and a silent, tenacious anger that runs underneath it all.