Bowness, Tim - Stupid Things That Mean The World

Kev Rowland

It may have taken 10 years for Tim to release his second solo album, but just a year on from ‘Abandoned Dancehall Dreams’ he was back with his third. Wilson is absent from this one, but Tim is not wanting for guitarists as not only is Michael Bearpark back, but Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) is also on hand to be involved in plenty of songs, and Phil Manzanera, Peter Hammill, and Rhys Marsh also get involved in that area. Mastelotto is involved in just one song this time around as Andrew Booker takes on the lead drummer role, and we also have some strings involved. Right from opener “The Great Electric Teenage Dream” one realises we are in for quite a different album to the last one, as there are times when the guitars are quite strident and driving, and the drums pushing through, not what one always expects from Bowness. It does not matter what is going on behind him though, as his vocals are always soft and gentle, with that hint of melancholy and emotion, unforced yet with real power and strength.

Contrast that to “Sing To Me”, where repeated piano chords and violins are all that are required on the introduction to accompany Tim as he tells his tale. He works through many different styles during the course of this album, always with his vocals to the fore, and the result is an album which is his most dynamic and compelling to date. There are more levels to this release, more layers, yet always with those vocals at the front. Tim has a way of understanding less is more, and one of the most poignant and powerful songs on the album is “Know That You Were Loved”, which has Tim singing against acoustic guitar and slide. There is no room to hide, but the simplicity grabs the listener and brings them in close. “Everything You're Not” is another special song, and not just for the presence of Hammill, but the way it commands attention even though it is delicate and gentle. Very much a songs-based album, Bowness again shows he is one of our finest singers and understands there is no need to be forceful and over the top when grace and majesty does the job just as well.

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