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Plenty: It Could Be Home

Although singer and songwriter Tim Bowness first came to prominence as half of no-man with Steven Wilson, immediately prior he had been the singer in the 80s band Plenty. Taking their cues from The Blue Nile, Bowie, Peter Gabriel and even Prefab Sprout, the band recorded a collection of demos, before grinding to a halt. Now with that hugely successful time with Wilson behind him and an ever more interesting solo career now three albums old, Bowness has stepped boldly into the future by reaching into his past. Joining up once more with Plenty band-mates Brian Hulse and David K Jones to re-record and update those demos and release them under the banner of It Could Be Home.

As someone who has followed Bowness through the no-man years and been delighted by his recent solo work, having the opportunity to (kind of) hear where it all began is an intriguing one. The man’s melancholy vocals unmistakable, and yet Plenty offers him something different, something almost (at least in places) upbeat. Bravely, while these are state of the art recordings (produced by Jacob Holm-Lupo (White Willow) and mastered by The Pineapple Thief’s Steve Kitch) the reconvened band have decided not only to stay true to their song’s roots, but also present them in a way that makes It Could Be Home truly sound like an 80s album. Just not one recorded in the 80s.

The mood is austere and shimmering, Bowness’s tendency to keep things tight and controlled also evident here. However with electronic beats and bright, almost playful keyboard interjections, while the links are strong, Plenty are offering something decidedly different. “Broken Nights” is upbeat and downcast, deep melodies initially catching the ear, but there’s also something much more heart tugging going on underneath. Along the way, an evolving cast of cameos add points of interest, no-man violinist Steve Bingham making an appearance, Bowness’s one-time collaborator Peter Chilvers providing piano, while former Plenty guitarist Michael Bearpark also lends a hand.

For all that melancholy and introspection are never far away, “Climb” actually breaks out into a full on riff and roll of guitars as it powers gently along on a sharp stab of fretwork; Bowness upping the intensity to match it every step of the way. While “As Tears Go By” wouldn’t have been out of place with Gabriel and Bush sharing vocals, even if it is a little more contained that that might suggest. However “Never Needing”, “Foolish” and the album’s title track play most strongly to the intense and compact strengths of Plenty, the sparsity of the arrangements highlighting the tightness of the songwriting. “The Good Man” - the only completely new composition revealed; fitting in as though it was created hand in hand with the other material here, even if it is a little more forceful.

Re-recording and re-crafting the songs on It Could Be Home has allowed Plenty to truly straddle the decades. And while 30 years may be a long time to wait to release a debut album, it has been well worth the time and effort. Hopefully it will see Plenty finally become a permanent fixture on the scene.

Track Listing
1. As Tears Go By
2. Hide
3. Never Needing
4. Broken Nights
5. Foolish Walking
6. Strange Gods
7. Every Stranger's Voice
8. Climb
9. The Good Man
10. It Could Be Home

Added: May 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Tim Bowness online
Hits: 814
Language: english

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Plenty: It Could Be Home
Posted by AhmedMalik on 2022-07-02 19:22:22
My Score:

It Could Be Home has allowed Plenty to truly straddle the decades sf bay area auto detailing
And while 30 years may be a long time to wait to release a debut album, it has been well worth the time and effort

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