All This Will Be Yours – Bruce Soord
Exploring the nuanced impact of Bruce Soord’s 2019 album, All This Will Be Yours.
By Ben Jacklin
Bruce Soord’s All This Will Be Yours is the second solo album from the singer, best known for his work with the experimental outfit, The Pineapple Thief. Mixed in stunning 5.1 surround, this album holds true to Soord’s reputation as a tinkerer: someone who builds rich soundscapes and is never afraid to push boundaries.
The album was described by the songwriter as a juxtaposition between the desperation and deprivation in his home town in Western England, and the joy of the birth of his third child. The glorious depth of the album is laced with field recordings from Soord’s experiences in Yeovil, England, from sirens to an old man casually singing to himself. The album serves as a personal diary, and you feel like the artist is bearing his soul while you listen.
The first thing to hit you about this album is its intimacy. The closeness of the mix, and the mellow and melancholy vibe set by the opening ambient soundscape.
The opening track, “The Secrets I Know,” surrounds us with a calm yet sombre soundscape that could be from a Sigur Ros track – beautifully mixed in 5.1 – before Soord’s vocals and crisp acoustic guitar kick into gear. “Our Gravest Threat Apart” and “The Solitary Path Of A Convicted Man” stick with the same guitar sound, simple yet intimate, as lush, reverb-drenched wails and backing vocals reminiscent of Thom Yorke or Neil Young enrich the album as more instrumentation is introduced.
Title track “All This Will Be Yours” sounds like it could be a 90s classic; rich strings compliment a simple piano melody and repetitive drum break. Hints of Massive Attack are undeniable, as Bruce’s understated, direct, yet effective chorus lyrics serve as a hook; “take a good look…and all this will be yours”.
The album mellows again, with acoustic number “Time Does Not Exist.” a Bon Iver sounding track with rich, wavy reverb enveloping the listener from all angles.
“One Misstep” features incredible dynamics, with minimal percussion sections followed by driving guitar chords and a synthesized bass hook layering perfectly with Soord’s soothing and easy vocal tones. The songwriter has found yet more space to experiment as strings build in the background, accompanied by field recordings and fleeting glitches in the background that flutter through the stereo field.
A sparse electronic track follows; “You Hear the Voices” sounds like Soord has been given access to Pink Floyd recordings. Vocals echo, synths build, and for the first time in the album, drums in a pivotal role give this song its own sound. The impressive swells take us on another emotional journey.
Big, climactic drums and electric guitar drive us through “Cut the Flowers.” A previously mellow album really kicks into gear with attitude as the conclusion draws near. Soord continues to drive home simple vocal mantras as we near the finale.
This finale comes in the form of “One Day I Will Leave You.” A song which, in many ways, brings us full-circle. The ambience of the opening track seems to have returned, the vocals become quieter as simple guitar melodies weave around the beautifully defiant vocals.
The ambient conclusion speaks volumes about the composer and this incredible album, shaped and structured to take us through this soulful and sometimes haunting journey. Soord’s album feels somehow unintrusive, but at the same time proves to be incredibly impactful, capturing the rare feeling of an album born of emotion, fragility, and empathy.
About the Author
Ben is a writer and musician from the UK with a background in music technology. He writes about engineering and production, musicianship and music equipment for a number of publications including his own site, subreel.com