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Tim Bowness - Tim Bowness & Peter Chilvers: California, Norfolk CD (album) cover

TIM BOWNESS & PETER CHILVERS: CALIFORNIA, NORFOLK

Tim Bowness

Crossover Prog


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3 stars Quite a sparse,intimate and initially unprepossessing album from Steven Wilson's alter ego on the NoMan project singer-songwriter Tim Bowness and Brian Eno collaborator Peter Chilvers on all other instruments here,which nonetheless manages to slowly charm the listener into its hermetic soundworld of melancholy ruminations and languidly evolving ambient composition.Ranging from minimalist neoclassical vignettes for piano and voice such as ''Chant One'' to the acoustic balladry of closing track ''A Dreamers Song'',and from the string driven abstractions of ''Post-its'' to the 10 minute piece de resistance ''Winter with you'',which follows a 3-part suite form that goes from ambient electronics straight through to rough industrial feedback and then back again to melancholic piano crooning,''California,Norfolk''(namechecking an actual seaside resort in Britain)manages to hold the listener's attention,without forcedly demanding it.

Maybe not necessarily as accomplished or spectacular in its tone or variety of range as some of the masterpieces Tim Bowness has recorded with Wilson under the NoMan banner,perhaps a little too uniform and reserved in mood for any stand out tracks to truly etch themselves indelibly on one's memory and occasionally marred by some dated electronic beats(subtle..) and textures here and there,''California,Norfolk'' still manages to present the solo/collaborative Bowness canon with one of its more significant and interesting releases,which I am sure long term fans of this most distinguished and characteristically mellifluous of voices in contemporary art rock need no further incentive to purchase.Those less familiar,should probably start out with the NoMan discography and then work their way through some of his more adventurous latter day solo(''Abandoned Dancehall Dreams'') or collaborative albums with Giancarlo Era of NoSound(''Memories of Machines'') before approaching this slow burning gem of a record;either way,one will not regret spending time in its gracefully lyrical flow or poetic meditations for its court 45 minute duration.

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Posted Saturday, June 20, 2015 | Review Permalink

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