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.