Album Review: TIM BOWNESS – Abandoned Dancehall Dreams

Tim Bowness - Abandoned Dancehall Dreams

Inside Out – Out Now.

Tim Bowness is a much sought after singer/songwriter who is best known as Steven Wilson’s creative other half in the experimental Art Rock / Dream Pop outfit No-Man.

Various collaborations have resulted in an impressive number of musically diverse releases, featuring Tim’s name over the years as well as, one can only assume, a personal organiser full of important people’s names and numbers.

It is perhaps this that Tim consulted in order to bring together the right group of people and, with their assistance, recorded his latest solo effort, “Abandoned Dancehall Dreams”.

One would expect any album that features contributions from the likes of Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Anna Phoebe (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) to be a technically bombastic affair, but Tim had other plans for his second solo album in ten years.

Having instead opted for atmosphere and melodic nuances, Tim has nevertheless ensured that the eight compositions he so meticulously prepared contain enough layers of musical intricacies to engage the imagination even of the most Prog-orientated of fans.

From the tribal-esque drum beats and futuristic keyboard themes of the opening track “The Warm-Up Man Forever” all the way to interesting discordant guitar harmonies of the closing three and a half minute “Beaten By Love”, “Abandoned Dancehall Dreams” is the kind of album that embraces with its warmth and impresses with its maturity in large doses and in equal terms.

Tim’s involvement with projects like OSI clearly shows in the  beautiful contrasting melodies of “Song Of Distant Summers” while his Prog pedigree really comes across in the YES influenced themes of “Smiler at 50”.

Fans of Dream Theater styled ballads will find much to like in “Dancing For You” while the clever orchestrations and Floydian qualities of “I Fought Against The South” offer another interesting dimension to this deceptively ‘straight forward’ release.

It is very interesting to observe that, while most young musicians consider technical dexterity and a large number of notes as evidence of artistic ability, musicians in possession of real skill and experience like Tim Bowness opt for less in their attempt to bring their message across.

“Abandoned Dancehall Dreams” finds Tim in possession of a clear artistic vision – the purpose of which is to awaken and engage one’s senses with colourful themes and contrasted melodies of the highest quality.

Give this album a couple of good spins and your full attention and you are guaranteed to become addicted!

John Stefanis
Rating: **** (4.0/5.0)

Interview (June 2014)

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