Where to begin… If somebody would ask my how to describe Tim’s music, than I would say that it’s “friendly music” that contains a lot of emotion, carried by both the lyrics and the music. I know, this is not really a clear description of what you can expect, so here follows a more clear description: The music is a light blend of different styles and genres. Sheer progressive rock, mixed with pop rock and soundscapes. For the people who like later no-man and previous solo albums this album will not be something new, it will fit perfectly in line with mister Bowness his progress.
Lost In The Ghost Light is a concept story about a fictional musician who had his success back in the day, and the personal struggles the person has to deal with during several moments of his life and career. The story of this rock artist is spread over eight tracks, making this journey forty-five minutes long. Some of the tracks that were meant for this album ended up on previous albums; Abandoned Dancehall Dreams and Stupid Things That Mean The World. I recommend to read Tim’s personal story behind the making of and the concept story behind Lost In The Ghost Light on his weblog (click here to read it), because I can’t describe it better than him. The core line-up of the band features Stephen Bennet (Henry Fool), Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Andrew Booker (Sanguine Hum), and Hux Nettermalm (Paatos). Contributors of the album are Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Steve Bingham (no-man), and Kit Watkins (Happy The Man/Camel). One familiar name is missing in the line-up though; Michael Bearpark is not mentioned in the list of musicians who contribute on Ghost Light. A big surprise for me, because he always played guitar on quite a lot of songs of Tim’s (solo) albums.
First track Worlds Of Yesterday already carries the atmosphere that will determine the overtone of the complete album. The fretless bass and the several continuing guitar sounds are beautifully executed. Moonshot Manchild also has that lovely fretless bass. After four minutes the song changes, and has an instrumental piece which starts with piano and bass. Later on the complete band kicks in, which turns into this beautiful passage where a lot of things are happening. Kill The Pain That’s Killing You is my personal favourite. Up tempo, raw present bass, fast drums, and a very atmospheric chorus and outro. It gives the complete album that fresh twist. Nowhere Good To Go starts with Tim singing, accompanied by an acoustic guitar. A calm, lingering song filled with orchestral moments. You’ll Be In Silence has a sweet intro with piano, mellotron (I think), and strings. It’s a real prog rock ballad. It reminds me of Marillion’s music from time to time. Lost In The Ghost Light is the shortest track on the album. It’s dark and haunting. You Wanted To Be Seen has a lovely mellotron at the start, accompanied by piano and bass. A heavy loaded song. After two and a half minutes it’s gets more dark and dreary, with solid guitar riffs and solos. Distant Summers is a “jazz meets prog” like track with a double bass, and lovely flute solos.
It took me some time to get into it, while Stupid Things only needed one listen to get me completely hooked. It had more varied songs, while Lost In The Ghost Light is more of an album that carries a continuing recognizable vibe through the complete session, and sometimes it comes close to later no-man material. This album really grew on me once it finally “clicked”, and I’m glad it did. Tim Bowness is one of the best artists out there at the moment, who delivers a constant quality of music. I can only say “Keep on going, Tim! Keep on making beautiful, friendly music!”.
***** Iris Hidding
The album is out now, go buy it at Burning Shed here.
- Worlds Of Yesterday (5:41)
- Moonshot Manchild (8:58)
- Kill The Pain That’s Killing You (3:44)
- Nowhere Good To Go (4:46)
- You’ll Be The Silence (9:01)
- Lost In The Ghost Light (1:41)
- You Wanted To Be Seen (5:32)
- Distant Summers (4:06)
You can read my interview with Tim Bowness (where we talk about this album) here:
You can watch the videos of the tracks Kill The Pain That’s Killing You, You Wanted To Be Seen and Distant Summers here: