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Tim Bowness - Flowers at the Scene CD (album) cover


Tim Bowness


Crossover Prog

3.62 | 62 ratings

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4 stars Tim Bowness is probably most famous for his work with Steven Wilson as the duo known as "No-man", which started out as a progressive dance project, and ended up as a mostly minimalist band that played and sang beautifully lush compositions. He has also released several solo and collaboration full length albums, 9 to be exact, at least to this point.

His ninth album is called "Flowers at the Scene" and was released on March 1, 2019. Tim does most of the vocals and synths, but has recruited a line up of guest musicians that is basically a Who's-who of progressive artists. We have appearances of Peter Hammill from Van der Graff Generator, Andy Partridge from XTC, Kevin Godley from 10cc, Colin Edwin from Porcupine Tree, Jim Matheos from Fates Warning and OSI, David Longdon from Big Big Train, and several others. The tracks on the album are all between 3 and 5 minutes with 11 tracks total adding up to a runtime of about 43 minutes.

"I Go Deeper" alternates between a heavy moderate beat with a guitar riff and a atmospheric softness on the chorus. His vocals are unmistakably his trademark sound, especially on the soft sections. "The Train that Pulled Away" starts with a subdued march style percussion and violins emulating a train. Bowness' beautiful vocals reflect a feeling of loneliness and a swelling violin accompanies him. Later, a cello provides bass when the full drum pattern kicks in. "Rainmark" features Jim Matheos. Shimmering synths provide the background and is later joined by a moderate rhythm and occasional brass which slowly build to the lovely guitar solo sandwiched between Tim's airy vocals that always evoke emotions.

"Not Married Anymore" has a pensive feel, but with tonal percussive sounds and piano accompaniment. Dylan Howe guests on drums. Nothing generates the feeling of loneliness or the feeling of regret in music more than Tim's emotional vocals. Exquisite! Jim Matheos also guests on the title track "Flowers at the Scene". This has a more jazz feel to it, a little more upbeat with piano, synths and drums. Jim's perfect guitar work joins in on the 2nd verse and during the instrumental break and it fits perfectly to the feel of the song. "It's the World" features Jim again and Peter Hammill. The song is immediately darker feeling with a heavy guitar and synths. Steven Wilson definitely has a part in this too, it can be heard in the dark, and later, louder feel of the track. I would guess the background harmonies involve Wilson and Hammill here also. This is one I wish was longer.

"Borderline" features Dylan Howe again along with David Longdon on background vocals and flute. There is also a trumpet involved with this soft jazz track. "Ghostlike" starts with a heavy drum progression and stylish synths. This is another dark track and a bit heavier than others and becoming atmospheric in the last minute. This is also the longest track of just over 5 minutes. "The War on Me" returns to a pensive feel with processed piano and synths and airy vocals. "Killing to Survive" features Peter Hammill again. Jangly guitar and piano build under the vocals and a steady drum during the chorus. Hammill's distinctive vocals come in on the 2nd chorus. There is also a great guitar solo in the break, but it's too short. "What Lies Here" features Andy Partridge and Kevin Godley on secondary vocals. Synths and guitar bring in an atmospheric introduction before Tim's airy and pensive vocals start. The harmonized vocals by the guests are a very nice touch here. The track stays soft and atmospheric throughout.

This album is another beautiful reminder of Tim Bowness' musical interpretation skills and it is hard to find a vocalist that can convey lyrics the way that he can. The music on here is mostly soft and melancholic, but that is what I love about his music. There are a few instances where things are more upbeat also, and that lends variety to the album. The one problem is the fact that it only has light doses of Progressiveness, but that is hardly noticeable because of Tim's vocal abilities and textures. the other drawback is I wish a few of the tracks were a little longer. As a regular album, this would be teetering on a 5 star album, but since it is not really that progressive, for the purpose of this site it has to be 4 stars. This is a beautiful album.

TCat | 4/5 |


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