Bruce Soord - All This Will Be Yours Album Review
Bruce Soord
Label: Kscope
  • 4.5/5
Reviewed by Jordan Blum

Although All This Will Be Yours is filled with transcendent and resourceful timbres, it’s Soord’s singing and songwriting that steal the show on every track.

For roughly twenty years—and through multiple outlets, with the most notable being British art rock troupe The Pineapple Thief—Bruce Soord has continued to craft splendidly solemn, nuanced, and catchy songs. Be they elaborately produced and arranged, or more stripped-down and forthright, his characteristically vulnerable yet empowered lyricism, melodies, and vocals are always exceptional. Unsurprisingly (but thankfully), this remains true on All This Will Be Yours, his latest solo album and the follow-up to 2015’s remarkable self-titled sequence. Arguably delving deeper than ever into his acoustic singer/songwriter persona, the LP is as gratifyingly and affectively private, eloquent, and mesmerizing as just about anything else he’s done.

Never one to shy away from mixing personal circumstances and public commentaries, Soord reveals in the official press release that All This Will Be Yours is an “observational record . . . inspired by the joy felt by the birth of [my] third child juxtaposed by the local deprivation in [my] hometown.” He adds, “[W]e had this new life in our lives and it introduced a very different perspective on the world around me. I was totally inspired and started writing almost immediately.” To help authentically express the deficit of his surroundings, he brought a mobile recorder on walks and captured sounds such as “an old man walking along the street, singing outside [his] house,” “screaming children on their commute to school,” and “sirens” (which are used throughout the journey). While Soord plays everyone on it, his bandmate, keyboardist Steve Kitch, mastered it. As with many solo outings, All This Will Be Yours is purposefully and understandably less sophisticated and bombastic than its Pineapple Thief stepsiblings, focusing almost solely on the subdued and intimate power of vocals and delicate instrumentation. On that front, though, it succeeds masterfully.

“The Secrets I Know” instigates that somber majesty right away, as acoustic guitar arpeggios, ethereal tones, and Soord’s trademark fragile sentiments (“All I can see / Is you swept away from me / And clutching the secrets I know / Move forward / At all costs”) encompass you. It’s as harrowing as it is beautiful, and it instantly demonstrates that he hasn’t lost any of his singular magic despite how many prior collections he filled with it. As it draws to a close, its chilling atmosphere swells to ingeniously segue into “Our Gravest Threat Apart,” which logically maintains a similar vibe while replacing the warmer organic qualities with lingering digital soundscapes and poignant drumming. Together, they make for not only an incredible opening set, but also one of the strongest one-two punches Soord has ever managed.

Naturally, the album keeps that inimitable grandeur as it goes. For instance, “The Solitary Path of a Convicted Man” is gorgeously full-bodied but thoroughly elusive, with inventive percussion, multilayered chants, and a simple yet emotive clean guitar solo heightening its mood. From there, the title track is quite dynamic and fetching—so it’s no wonder why it became the lead single—while “Time Does Not Exist” and “One Misstep” are other unforgettable acoustic ballads set apart from their brethren via faint piano notes, swelling synths, and/or relatively intricate fingerpicking patterns. “You Hear the Voices” and “Cut the Flowers” follow a comparable trajectory yet also evoke, say, the sublime Nosound with their emotional electronic pulses and sudden bursts of hectic catharses. As for closer “One Day I Will Leave You,” it feels like the divine culmination of every trait and testimony that’s come before it, leaving you eager to let the whole set wash over you again.

Although All This Will Be Yours is filled with transcendent and resourceful timbres, it’s Soord’s singing and songwriting that steal the show on every track. As always, he prioritizes profound and idiosyncratic foundations over showy techniques, allowing the surrounding layers to complement—rather than circumvent—his gifts as a graceful craftsman. Undoubtedly, these are some of his strongest pieces in recent years, and they’re all essential listening for established fans and newcomers looking for the pristine examples of someone pouring their heart and soul out through speakers.

(Main Photo: Steve Brown)

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