Tim Bowness - Lost In The Ghost Light album review

Steven Wilson’s bandmate uncorks concept album.

Cover art for Tim Bowness - Lost In The Ghost Light album

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Parallel to his long-time membership of No-Man with Steven Wilson, Tim Bowness has been releasing solo albums since 2004’s My Hotel Year. His fourth is an ambitious concept work centred around a fictional rock star reflecting in the fading twilight of his career. It’s mixed by Wilson and beautifully enhanced by members of Porcupine Tree, Sanguine Hum and Paatos, plus Ian Anderson on guest flute and string quartet on three tracks.

Opulent ballads Worlds Of Yesterday and Moonshot Manchild set a mood of resigned melancholy. The epic prognosed balladry irrevocably recalls the emotional majesty of Bowie’s Blackstar, like a new earthly manifestation of its eternal shockwaves, without the jazz edge. This is apparent in the yearningly sad vocals and widescreen sonic panoramas.

Thankfully Bowness exercises enough of his own character throughout to shine brightly on Distant Summers, and even gets aggressive on speedier ditties such as Kill The Pain.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!