The cover photo of a what looks like an old rocker, studying a vinyl album cover, within the… mess of his front room, is arguably more reflective of the listening audience, than it is of the beautiful produced melodies which occupy the album.
Tim Bowness’ sixth solo album (the fifth in a sequence that began in 2014 on Inside Out) is quite a contrast to the last release he was involved in, No Man’s ‘I Love You To Pieces’. This album provides a much more mellow outlook, covering a range of subject areas. The musical backing is provided mainly by Bowness and Brian Hulse (and produced by both) and as with previous releases, well chosen guest appearances color the canvas: Richard Barbieri & Colin Edwin from Porcupine Tree, and Kavus Torabi & Melanie Woods of Knifeworld all have guest spots here. And to add to that, the album is mixed by his no-man and podcast parnter Steven Wilson and mastered by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout).
Where his last album kicked with drums and guitar, Bowness starts off this album with the subdued keyboards and percussion on “Northern Lights”. This immediately sets the tone for the record; a more mellow and sensitive style withe yearning in the vocals. The second track and album’s first single “I’m Better Now” continues this approach with its atmospheric soundscape that builds as the song moves along. Meanwhile, “We Caught the Light” is a gorgeous acoustic ballad, very simple, but effective.
Tim Bowness is a unique artist in the world of prog, one that takes an introspective approach with his music, focuses on emotion, and the human condition. There is a lot of depth to the songs on this album. Sit back and get drawn in.
Released on Aug. 28th, 2020 on InsideOutMusic
1) Northern Rain (4.49)
2) I’m Better Now (3.52)
3) Darkline (3.57)
4) We Caught The Light (3.56)
5) The Hitman Who Missed (3.21)
6) Never A Place (4.41)
7) The Last Getaway (4.55)
8) Hidden Life (5.05)
9) One Last Call (4.15)
Tim Bowness – vocals / backing vocals / synths 2, 9 / samples 2, 9 / ukuleles 4 / fx 2, 6
Brian Hulse – synths / keyboards / guitars / programmed drums / backing vocals 4
Tom Atherton – vibraphone 1, 4, 5, 6, 9
Richard Barbieri – synths and synth solos 3, 7
Evan Carson – drums and percussion 1, 4
Colin Edwin – double bass 4, 5, 9
Alistair Murphy – dianatron 5
Kavus Torabi – glissando guitar and guitar solo 2 / backing vocals 4
Melanie Woods – backing vocals 1, 2, 4