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Bowness, Tim: Lost in the Ghost Light

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Tim Bowness hasn't wasted much time with his follow-up to 2015's Stupid Things That Mean the World, as here we are barely a year and a half later and his InsideOut Records follow-up Lost in the Ghost Light is upon us. Mixed and mastered by long time collaborator Steven Wilson, Lost in the Ghost Light again sees Bowness surrounded by a stellar cast of musicians and guest stars that include Stephen Bennett (Henry Fool), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief), Hux Nettermalm (Paatos) and Andrew Booker (Sanguine Hum) as the main band, with Kit Watkins (Happy The Man/Camel), Steve Bingham (no-man) and the legendary Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) joining in on the fun. Andrew Keeling (Robert Fripp/Hilliard Ensemble/Evelyn Glennie) arranges for string quartet and flute on three of the album's songs.

As with Tim's previous releases, Lost in the Ghost Light is lush, dreamy, melodic progressive rock, having a lot in common with late '70s Genesis, Marillion, and IQ, as the leader's gentle vocals soar over soothing beds of vintage keyboards and artfully woven arrangements. "Worlds of Yesterday" is actually one of the more haunting songs written by Bowness, a nice melodic prog rocker with a vintage feel thanks to sublime keyboards and Anderson's nimble flute, leading into the excellent Genesis inspired "Moonshot Manchild", which features some incredible Mellotron, synth, piano, and intricate guitar work. The band rocks out for the wild "Kill The Pain That's Killing You", as sizzling guitar lines, beefy bass and acrobatic drums collide underneath Bowness' Peter Gabriel inspired vocal delivery, while the gorgeous "You'll Be the Silence" again reminds of Genesis, specifically And Then There Were Three and Duke era of the band, with added majesty thanks to the string quartet and exquisite piano melodies. The mournful violin just cries alongside Bowness' tender vocal on the emotional closer "Distant Summers", taking the listener off into the sunset as Anderson again drops in a charming flute solo.

As I've stated in the past, the music of Tim Bowness is bound to soothe and tickle your senses rather than bludgeon you with bombast, so as long as you know that going in, you'll have an incredible time with Lost in the Ghost Light. For me, this is his best record yet, and highly recommended to fans of pastoral, melodic prog rock.


Track Listing
1. Worlds Of Yesterday
2. Moonshot Manchild
3. Kill The Pain That's Killing You
4. Nowhere Good To Go
5. You'll Be The Silence
6. Lost In The Ghost Light
7. You Wanted To Be Seen
8. Distant Summers

Added: February 21st 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 936
Language: english

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Bowness, Tim: Lost in the Ghost Light
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-02-20 19:17:24
My Score:

Since the seeming dissolution of the band of Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson, no-man, singer and songwriter Bowness has proved prolific, Lost In The Ghost Light his third album in three years. Following on from the themes, both musical and lyrical, of those two previous albums, Stupid Things That Mean The World and Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, Lost… is another poised masterclass. These sounds won't get a party started, that's for sure. Instead the melancholy delights are made to be lone experiences, where the likes of "Worlds Of Yesterday" prove thoughtful and introspective as the flute of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) pulls Bowness's music back to a vintage prog age in a way that he doesn't usually attempt. That said, Gabriel era Genesis is an obvious starting point for this man's music, while on this occasion, there are also a few more overtly Steve Rothery like guitar forays, where poignant beauty sets the scene.

Often the characters in these songs (Bowness's music nearly always features realistic, lifelike figures), such as "Moonshot Manchild" or "Nowhere Good To Go" are disjointed, displaced souls who struggle with the modern world's ever more pointless intricacies. A lone voice against the lack of human touch life often offers. Although the characters often don't view this as a recent phenomenon. And with beautiful strings adding hugely to the mood on the latter cut, this really is involved fare that needs time and care on the part of the listener to unlock.

However with the snare popping, guitar totting "Kill The Pain That's Killing You" stretching its muscles in an understated, yet still biting way, this is never a one dimensional album, the attack always on the move, even if the ethos remains firmly locked in. Much of this is down to the main man's unmistakable vocal delivery, words sliding and slicing with equal measure, an easy manner never mistaken for a lack of intent. If anything, the exact opposite being true.

Lost In The Ghostlight is another excellent demonstration that when it comes to heartfelt, personal, progressive music, Tim Bowness is up there with the best. In fact with the high level of consistency he achieves through an idiosyncratic approach, it's difficult to think of anyone right now who is doing it better.



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