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Tim Bowness

Crossover Prog

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Tim Bowness Abandoned Dancehall Dreams album cover
3.82 | 127 ratings | 7 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Warm-Up Man Forever (4:06)
2. Smiler at 50 (8:19)
3. Songs of Distant Summers (5:02)
4. Waterfoot (4:14)
5. Dancing for You (5:59)
6. Smiler at 52 (4:05)
7. I Fought Against the South (8:51)
8. Beaten by Love (3:28)

Total Time 44:04

Bonus disc from 2014 2CD edition:
- Abandoned Dancehall Mixes:
1. There Were Days (Smiler at 52, Grasscut mix) (4:53)
2. Sounds of Distant Summers (Songs of Distant Summers, Richard Barbieri mix) (5:31)
3. Singing for You (Dancing for You, UXB mix) (4:42)
- Abandoned Dancehall Outtakes:
4. Abandoned Dancehall Dream (2:25)
5. The Sweetest Bitter Pill (3:51)
6. The Warm-Up Man Forever (band version) (4:15)
7. Songs of Distant Summers Part 1 (band version) (4:55)
8. Songs of Distant Summers Part 2 (band version) (3:59)

Total Time 34:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Bowness / vocals, piano & Mellotron (1), keyboards (2.1), guitar (7), drum programming (6,2.1), producer

- Michael Bearpark / guitar (1-3,5,7,8,2.2,2.3,2.5-2.8)
- Steven Wilson / guitar (8), drum machine (5,2.3), mixing
- Stephen Bennett / Mellotron, electric piano, upright piano, synth, drum programming (5,2.3)
- Stuart Laws / piano & synth pads, bass pedals, percussion & effects (3,2.2), keyboards (2.6-2.8)
- Andrew Keeling / string arranger (1,6,7,2.1,2.5), acoustic guitar & bass, organ & percussion (3), flute (7)
- Charlotte Dowding / violin (1,4,6,2.1,2.5)
- Anna Phoebe / violin (2,7)
- Steve Bingham / violin (3,2.2,2.6-2.8)
- Colin Edwin / fretless bass (2,5,2.3), double bass (62.1)
- Peter Morgan / bass (1,7,8,2.5-2.8), instrumentation & programming (2.3)
- Pat Mastelotto / drums (1,2,5,2.3)
- Andrew Booker / drums (7,8,2.5-2.8)
- Eliza Legzedina / backing vocals (5,2.3)
- Matt Ankers / backing vocals (5,2.3)
- Andrew Phillips "Grasscut" / additional instrumentation & programming (2.1)
- Richard Barbieri / keyboards & synth & drum programming (2.2)

Releases information

Artwork: Jarrod Gosling

LP Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLP 401 (2014, UK)

2CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLTDCD401 (2014, Europe) Bonus disc with remixes and outtakes

Thanks to kev rowland for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy TIM BOWNESS Abandoned Dancehall Dreams Music

TIM BOWNESS Abandoned Dancehall Dreams ratings distribution

(127 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

TIM BOWNESS Abandoned Dancehall Dreams reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by admireArt
4 stars His unique universe in all its extensions.

To approach Tim Bowness´music, there are some simple rules. His passion for melancholy dresses much of his work. Simplicity first, exhuberance after. Tim Bowness owns a "trademark" voice, so wherever he is, you will know! And above anything else his musical environments have always his underlined unique signature.

Abandonned Dancehall Dreams, 2014, is no exception to these "rules", but in a massive context.

Featuring an "All-Star" band, playing along every single turn his personal language takes in this 2 cd project and delivering a very attractive and quiet finished set of scopes and styles, which he compresses and refines at his best in each one of these songs.

To tag him, for newcomers, I will certainly address the "post rock/math rock" tag first, then his (and Steven Wilson's) NO-MAN (as MEMORY OF MACHINES , CENTROZOON or his SLOW ELECTRIC project bands) and then finally the listeners who dig TALK TALK's later works, kind of a dream like "crossover" prog, taken to full length in Tim Bowness' own terms.

If I could compare this work with his previous "solo?" works (the ones listed here in PA) , I certainly will rate this one 5 stars, but in a general prog/universe this is at least ****4.5 PA stars!

Review by Second Life Syndrome
4 stars I love it when I listen to an album with absolutely no expectations, and I'm completely taken by it. Tim Bowness' new solo album "Abandoned Dancehall Dreams" is a moody, groovy, spine- tingling album of sonic wonder and beautiful, eerie soundscapes. Its melancholy is gorgeously perfect, and utterly enthralling.

Tim Bowness is the vocalist for the band No-man, made famous by collaboration with Steven Wilson. The latter and many other artists are involved in this work, honestly too many to mention. Reading the list of contributors, the sound of this album becomes pretty clear. An electronic foundation of programming and effects is but one of the layers found here, as violins, flowing bass, and soaring guitars all combine to form a dark contrasting environment in which Bowness works. That is one of the biggest impressions I get from this album, as Bowness seems to like really slow, bass driven compositions which he can then augment with brilliant melodies using some non-standard instrument. It's a strategy that works beautifully.

Bowness' lyrical content is clearly part and parcel with the music. The two mix organically on a level that few ever achieve. "Abandoned Dancehall Dreams", in my view, is an ode to lost dreams and the frustration with not being able to achieve what you set out to do in life. Yet, somehow, it's also about the forced smiles and perceived happiness that we conjure in response to our abandonment of our deepest desires. The melancholy bulldozer within this album pushes this story into your mind with great finesse and skill.

There are high points and low points here, but far more of the former. My favorites include "The Warm-Up Man Forever", "Smiler at 50", and "Smiler at 52" (probably my favorite) with its clear electronic beat. Honestly, though, I really like every song on this album, and even this album's cover is right up my alley with its quaint, retro style. Tim Bowness has really impressed me with this organically melancholy, emotional album. Its blunt flow and catchy choruses are so far the biggest surprise for me this year.

4.5 stars

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Tim Bowness is one of the few truly stellar progressive rock voices, both unique in timbre and emotionally effusive, with a vast catalog of successful endeavors with his pal Steve Wilson (No-Man is a stalwart entry in the prog pantheon), as well as his ongoing work with Henry Fool and a flurry of solo adventures of which "Abandoned Dancehall Dreams" is the very latest to reach our ears. Adorned by a classic 'retro' progressive rock album cover that ensures the proggy nature of his craft and populated by the 'crème de la crème' prog musicians (names such as veterans Colin Edwin, Pat Mastelotto, Richard Barbieri and Wilson, as well as the newer Henry Fool crew of keyboardist Stephen Bennett, drummer Andrew Booker and guitarman Michael Bearpark) who all simply 'get it' when it comes to the divine spirit that Tim Bowness seems to completely master. The results are quite impeccable, as this is not ambient shoe gaze gauze but a melancholic poetic essay drenched in powerful emotions that defy the possibility of yawning at the drop of a hat. Each composition possesses its own inherent heartbeat, searching out bewildering horizons where escape and contemplation rule the day. Nothing excessively long or ridiculously short, the entire menu just flows delectably. There is enough here to attract both the demanding rock fan as well as perhaps finding favour with that eternally "unflinchingly hostile to prog" female market.

Highly atmospheric, sensually inspired, sturdily grounded with rhythmic foundation and loaded to the gills with ethereal sound sculptures, Bowness' hushed voice flickers like some fiery butterfly ballerina, eternally riveting and intense. There are some glittering prizes among the crown jewels solemnly encased for the prog tourist to view, namely the "Smiler at 50" and its electro companion "Smiler at 52", both ecstatic gems that will rock your world. My personal favorite is the mind-blowing "I Fought Against the South", a nearly 9 minute extravaganza that goes through a contrast turnstile halfway that just left me helplessly glowing, crushed by the orgasmic string arrangement led by Andrew Keeling. These violins actually emote on a heavenly mantle of mellotron cushions, grandiose flute fluttering and eclectic percussive concussions.

This exquisite package includes a second fully loaded CD that offers mix/outtake variations on the preceding themes, reworked demos that conjure up a wider palette of sounds, different musicians and extending the overall pleasure with any hint of redundancy. In some instances, the arrangements become more electronic in nature, with vocoded voice effects and Kraftwerkian beat box moods running rampant. The all choral "Singing for You" is achingly rapturous!

Another 2014 masterpiece!

5 reckless disco reveries

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars Whenever I travel I like to visit at least one record store. I am a nut for owning albums. MP3:s and Itunes galore but nothing beats the real deal. So, standing there, feverishly, in a record store in Düsseldorf, holding a Grobschnitt album in my hand, I stumble across Tim Bowness' "Abandonded dancehall dreams". I have to admit I knew almost nothing of the man, only having read the odd review on PA but when my eyes wandered across the sections in the store and seeing it there, I knew I had to have it. Something called out inside of me. And thus ends the first part of this review.

The thing about this album is that it is a piece of melancholy, steeped in gentleness and atmosphere focusing on loss and longing. The outbursts of heavier sounds are sparse in numbers and could be easily counted for those inclined to do so. Overall the album is a tapestry of warmth and sorrow, which may sound a bit heavy but it isn't. I would rather proclaim it very enjoyable and moving, not overly complex but rather accessible in a progressive kind of way.

The opener "Warm-up man" acts a great introduction to what has proven an increasingly worthwhile album. "Warm-up man" is one of those more action-packed songs as far as music is concerned. It is a really good song though it is the coming ones that really puts the finger on the album's greatness. "Smiler at 50" is probably my favorite of the lot. One of the two really long tracks it holds two distinctly different sections. The first being very mellow, atmospheric and thought provoking in both lyric and musical tone, the second is an outburst which perfectly fits the glove of this track. Together the sections balances a song of outstanding beauty and ultimately power. Equally good is "Songs of distant summers", though it holds no outburst in the vein of the previous track. Sheer beauty and mellowness.

The next track is interesting and quite different to the other tracks with it's folky approach. "Waterfoot" is a very moving piece, fitting to the context of the album. "Dancing for you" holds a wonderfully emotional guitar solo. That song gives me the feeling of flowing in a non gravitational space. I just have to close my eyes and I am able to touch the stars of our universe. (Ramble on, why don't you.) Well, it's true. The keyboards are outstanding aswell.

"Smiler at 52" and the ending " Beaten by love" are great tracks aswell but of the last few tracks "I fought against the South" is the best. It is built in a similar way to "Smiler at 50" with a soft, beautiful opening and a very powerful ending section, complete with a screaming violin. Exquisite!

The voice of Tim Bowness is gentle and holds a certain timbre of great pleasantness. His voice really suits the narrative approach to the lyrics, making it feel like an orchestrated reading. (I must point out that Bowness sings, not speaks. Just to clear any misunderstandings.) Musically it is performed in a flawless way, fitting the stories perfectly. Steven Wilson, probably the foremost crusader of contemporary prog, appears on the album and delivers some fine guitar playing.

When standing there in Düsseldorf I found the deluxe edition of "Abandoned dance hall dreams" with an extra disc of bonus material. I do not always think that the bonus material is all that interesting. Sometimes it even bores me, as is the case with the second disc of Transatlantic's "Kaleidoscope". In this case it is different. The bonus material is really interesting. In particular this is true of the title track, not appearing on the album itself. It baffles me, since it is a very emotive piece with a crackling musical setting, reminding of lacklustre dancehalls and bars, filled with ever hopeful but sad people. It would really have suited the original album but there you go. "The sweetest bitter pill", reminding slightly of The Verve, is drenched in mellotron and very good. The bonus tracks are obviously not substandard throw-aways, rather discarded on other grounds. I think, overall, that it may have been a good step to take, making the "original" album a more concise and powerful statement.

My rating will be based solely on the first disc of the album, since I believe that is the true proclamation of Bowness' artistic integrity. The bonus tracks are simply the colorful candles on the birthday cake. So, as a concluding note on the subject I must say that this is a terrific album of great emotions and soundscapes. I discover new things as I go along and believe this album will stay with me for quite some time. I will rate it with four brightly shining stars.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars I first came across Tim in the band No Man is an Island (Except the Isle of Man), where he was vocalist and co-writer with Steven Wilson. They soon shorted their name to no-man, and I reviewed various of their albums back in the Nineties, and Tim worked with various different musicians until he finally released his own debut back in 2004, 'Hotel', which I also reviewed. A short ten years later, and 2014 saw Tim release his second solo album, 'Abandoned Dancehall Dreams'. There are a host of other musicians, including of course Wilson, and colleagues from no-man, with plenty of other incredible talents such as drummers Pat Mastelotto and Andrew Booker. But this album is not really about the music, as that is always very much the accompaniment for Tim's wonderful vocals.

Anyone who has come across no-man will have an expectation for what is being delivered here, and they will not be disappointed. There is a whimsical melancholy about Tim's material, and an honesty and genuineness that other bands aspire to but rarely achieve. Tim's relationship with guitarist Michael Bearpark goes back many years, not only with no-man but other outfits, and his use of different guitar techniques to emphasise the emotions in the voice is sublime, with Stuart Laws providing bass that has the right amount of delicacy and warmth. There are times when the music feels quite twee, such as on "Smiler at 52", yet the emotions and reality of the vocals take the song in quite a different direction from the electronic backing which is behind it. This is an album which bears repeated listening as there is a great deal to be taken from it, by singer who has been at the front of the game for many years.

Latest members reviews

2 stars One more record where the thing I appreciate most is the cover, unfortunately. The picture is very old-style and should fit a seventies LP-record fine, the dance couple seems aslo to be taken from an old movie or something. "Abandoned Dancehall Dreams" is a studio album by the american artist ... (read more)

Report this review (#1256072) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Friday, August 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've never really liked No-Man. I'm one of those people that likes to treat Steven Wilson as some sort of god among men, and I am a huge fan of every single one of his musical endeavors with the exception of No-Man and I.E.M. (and to a certain extent Bass Communion). I feel that I should love ... (read more)

Report this review (#1255359) | Posted by Gallifrey | Thursday, August 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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