Using a propulsive backdrop of art rock, heartbreaking ballads and quirky pop tunes, Tim Bowness has delivered a new album of eleven diverse and concise songs. Each with cinematic storytelling and disarmingly confessional lyrics, containing all the inventiveness found in the musical projects Bowness has previously been involved in.
To his fanbase, Tim Bowness, an English composer and musician, is regarded as one of the unsung heroes of English prog rock. He’s probably best known for his work with Prog rock royalty Steven Wilson, in their collaborative band ‘No Man,’ rather than for his work on his solo albums.
With other bands he’s been involved with, and such is the high reverence and esteem Steven Wilson is held in prog circles, given much of what he gets involved in turns into prog gold. There’s a tendency for Tim Bowness to be perceived as simply “Wilson’s representative on earth”, but the music Bowness has been involved with producing down the years easily suggests he’s more than capable of being his own man.
His latest album, the follow-up to 2015’s Lost in the Ghost Ship, is the first joint production between Bowness and Wilson for a decade, and it harks back to the music they produced together on No Man, particularly on tracks such as ‘Borderline’, ‘Not Married Anymore’ and ‘The War On Me.’ The gripe Wilson faces occasionally from his considerable fanbase is that he’s moving away from Prog and towards a more commercial sound but, whatever the truth of this comment, there’s little doubt he still knows a good song when he hears one, and there are plenty of them on this album, particularly ‘The Train That Pulled Away’, ‘Rainmark’ and the title track ‘Flowers at the Scene’.
That Bowness is also highly regarded in prog circles can be seen by the musicians who’ve agreed to play on this album, familiar names such as David Longdon (Big Big Train), Jim Matheos (Circle of Fate) and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree). The presence of Prog legend Peter Hammill can be felt on ‘It’s The World’, the heaviest and darkest track on the album and a deviation from the overall mood of the album.
This isn’t a long album, barely 43 minutes, but the quality of the music on the album is indisputable. This is quite likely the most powerful and strongest solo album Tim Bowness has released to date, and hopefully it’ll go some way towards prog fans further acknowledging he has credentials of his own as a solo artist