Tim Bowness is a very busy man when it comes to projects such as No-Man (featuring Steven Wilson), Henry Fool, and Memories of Machines. He has released so far two solo albums (My Hotel Year and Abandoned Dancehall Dreams) that he has put under his belt. This year, he’s released his third solo album on the Inside Out Music label entitled Stupid Things That Mean the World.
Tim has worked with people alongside Steven Wilson including; Robert Fripp, Phil Manzanera, Stephen James Bennett, and Judy Dyble to name a few. Tim knows his collaborations very well with the right people to work in not just in the Prog community, but also in contemporary music and giving the sound a melodic warmth background in most of those areas that shows he has come a long way since starting back in the ‘80s.
With Stupid Things That Mean the World, Tim takes the listener into a world of not just a calming vibration, but showing the darker side on what is going on behind the scenes. And he nails it down very well and structured to understand the life in your flashbacks and what have you learned. And focusing on how your days will choose on that path you will lead into.
Songs like Know That You Were Loved, Tim goes into a beautiful uplifting acoustic ballad as if he is going through a depression on a loved one that has passed on, and knowing that everything is coming down on him, will be alright. Rhys Marsh does a superb job on the pedal steel guitar as it goes into a country-sque sound through the essence of Gilmour before the mood changes into an ominous finale.
The opening extensive and minor-moody track, The Great Electric Teenage Dream, which sounds like a short story that either Philip K. Dick or Ray Bradbury could have written in the dystopian society music industry. The lyrics deal with the dark side of the business that even though you have a massive hit and critical success, you’re unpaid and nowhere to go.
But on Everything You’re Not which features Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator) on background vocals and slide guitar, it has a classical score in the background done by both Andrew Keeling who worked on the arrangement and Charlotte Dowdling on the violin ensemble. Not to mention the swirling synth solo that Stephen does. The lyrics deal with hiding away your innocence and who you were, is not what everyone wants to know with skeletons that the person has inside their closets.
Press Reset at first starts off with a chilling, moody atmosphere before the electronic sounds come in and the Trip-hop drumming in full swing. It is a very intense and in your face unexpected composition that will have you blown away as the bursting guitars and bass follows along and it’s an essence of Radiohead and David Bowie’s Outside-era. Elsewhere, the title track, deals with everything in your life being is believable and perfect has now become just one stupid thing in the world as the music goes into an active yet energetic groove.
The ballad Sing to Me, which originally started out as a demo in the ‘90s for No-Man entitled Best Boy Electric which it is on the second disc, it’s a beautiful composition between he and Wilson as they created magic and a touching emotional wonder that will hopefully be a live favorite for Tim and hopefully Steven Wilson to do a duet on this piece. I hope one of these days they perform it together in front of a live audience.
Tim Bowness has made Stupid Things That Mean the World, the soundtrack of your life. This is a crowning and warmth achievement that is released this year. I have played this about four times now. Tim has never disappointed me. Even though I’m not a wild fan of his work, he has got something special, wonderful, and exciting in his head of brainstorming ideas of what would come next.