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Tim Bowness - Abandoned Dancehall Dreams Award winner

Tim Bowness
Abandoned Dancehall Dreams
by Dorin Mandelbaum at 11 July 2014, 6:26 AM

TIM BOWNESS. Maybe, like me, you never heard this name before. But Tim was everywhere already, a member of NO-MAN band with STEVEN WILSON, who also mixed and guest appeared on this album. He collaborated with huge names like ROBERT FRIPP (KING CRIMSON) and HUGH HOPPER (SOFT MACHINE), yet his name never showed up until now.

How much did I like this album you ask? Let’s put it like this: finally after half a year or more of writing reviews on Metal Temple magazine, I finally get an album that makes me want to listen to it with my super fine expensive AKG headphones. Finally an album that can please the audiophile in me.

TIM BOWNESS’ 2nd album “Abandoned Dancehall Dreams” is nothing short of a masterpiece.

It is only 8 tracks long, yet manages to delve deep into one’s memories and retrospect of life.

This album dares to take it slow and demands your full attention for bestowing an enjoyable journey experienced through your ears and imagination.

Just to name a few of the things I enjoyed on this album: on the instrumental ending of “I Fought Against the South”, for the first time in my life, I felt as if someone managed to compose exactly what it would have sounded like if my depressed periods in life would become music, it even includes the feeling of that ‘weight lifted off your shoulders’ when those hopeless periods end, portrayed by the butterfly-esque flutes that close up the track, needless to say that tears followed.

On a misty track like “Songs of Distant Summers” you can truly believe that you are listening to a soundtrack of a real dream, while on an acoustic track like “Waterfoot” you might actually believe that NICK DRAKE is not dead.

Another intriguing side of this album is how we get to know a bit about a woman called “Smiler” through two tracks on the album: “Smiler At 50” and “Smiler At 52”. It really ripped my heart apart listening to these songs. A woman that used to be a pretty flower and had a wonderful love in her life, and now is only a shadow of what she used to be even though her life isn’t close to ending yet. “Smiler At 52” in specific reminded me of the classic THE EELS song style, with the repetitive keyboard sound and a synthesised drum beat as if a mirror of her dull life.

Four tracks of the entire eight of “Abandoned Dancehall Dreams” include beautifully made string arrangements by ANDREW KEELING who also worked with ROBERT FRIPP in the past. These unorthodoxed string arrangements add so much depth and character to the music that I can’t imagine this album succeeding in sounding this good without them.

Lastly, the voice of TIM BOWNESS, so accurate clear and direct, penetrates any imaginary barriers you might have thought you had against singers trying to touch your soul.
Something made me think of Daniel Gildenlöw when listening to this haunting British voice of TIM BOWNESS. Many melt when hearing this type of voice and I’m no different.

“Abandoned Dancehall Dreams” is the best album I heard since I started reviewing on Metal Temple, so I festively give it a 10 out of 10! If you have a pair of ears and a soul, you need to listen to this album. You will enjoy the ride.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Warm-Up Man Forever
2. Smiler At 50
3. Songs Of Distant Summers
4. Waterfoot
5. Dancing For You
6. Smiler At 52
7. I Fought Against The South
8. Beaten By Love
Lineup:
Tim Bowness – Vocals, Keyboards, Drum Programming
Michael Bearpark – Guitars
Charlotte Dowding – Violin Ensemble
Andrew Keeling – String Arrangements, Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Organ, Percussion, Flutes
Pat Mastelotto – Drums
Pete Morgan – Bass
Stephen Bennett – Various Electronica Keyboards, Fender Rhodes, Upright Piano
Colin Edwin – Bass, Double Bass
Anna Phoebe – Violin
Steve Bingham – Violin
Stewart Laws – Piano, Synth Pads, Taurus Bass, Atmospherics, Percussion
Eliza Legzedina & Matt Ankers – The Spontaneous UEA Vocal Ensemble
Steven Wilson – Drum Machine, Guitar
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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Edited 13 April 2021
 

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