I had never heard of Tim Burness before, but according to the promotional material I received with the CD, he has been writing and recording for a number of years. In the 1980s, Burness enjoyed success with his band Burnessence and toured with the likes of IQ and Pendragon. Burness has been a solo artist, more or less, since 1990 and Finding New Ways to Love is his latest offering.
Comprising of twelve tracks over a relatively scant forty minutes, Finding New Ways to Love is an interesting blend of commercial rock tunes with some progressive and ambient soundscapes. "Open Man" and "Stepping Out" are enjoyable and quirky pop rock songs that showcase Tim Burness' unusual voice. He reminds me a little of Joe Strummer from The Clash and possibly even Nick Barrett from Pendragon. Speaking of Pendragon, Fudge Smith guests on a number of tracks, but this album sounds nothing like the neo-prog legends. However, there is a definite progressive rock influence on the trio of instrumentals that arrive in the middle of the CD: "Unstoppable Waves of Joy" is far and away my favorite track. It is very much in the Steve Hackett mold and would not be out of place on his Spectral Mornings album. Keyboardist Monty Oxy Moron from The Damned (!) is given solo piano space on "An Interlude with Monty". It is a pleasant piece of music, but somehow it doesn't quite fit into the context of the rest of the album. "Beneath the Surface" is an ambient electronic piece with delayed Robert Fripp-like guitar tones. From there, the album proceeds with proper vocal oriented fare. "Love is For Giving" is a very good song that reminds me of Tears for Fears. "One Dream" starts as an acoustic folksong anthem and ends with what can only be described as Burness' take on "Frippertronics".
One of the things I really enjoy about Finding New Ways to Love is its unpredictability. Tim Burness cannot be pigeonholed into any one genre. I guess my only real criticism is that perhaps the album is a little too stylistically all over the map. But it is a nicely recorded CD and for anyone who enjoys some of the bands mentioned in my review, Finding New Ways to Love may really be worth seeking out.
Total Time 40:06
- Count In (:20)
- Open Man (4:34)
- Stepping Out (4:36)
- Returning to You (:48)
- Heal Your Soul (3:15)
- Unstoppable Waves of Joy (4:36)
- An Interlude With Monty (3:43)
- Beneath the Surface (1:30)
- Love is For Giving (4:54)
- Tomorrow's God (3:36)
- Walk Through the Darkness (5:17)
- One Dream (2:51)