Brighton songwriter Tim Burness first released Whose Dream Are You Living? in digital form in 2015. Now this expanded edition arrives as a physical release with a handful of new tracks.
There’s a range of styles and influences on display, with the melancholy gloom of Steven Wilson being a touchstone that Burness visits throughout the album, which feels very much like a studio creation, rather than the sound of a band playing live. There are ambient and EDM overtones to And Set Your Spirit Free and Round And Round, while Hold Me has echoes of studio maestros Godley & Creme in its pulsing bassline and swirling synths. Burness doesn’t have a particularly strong voice, so the clever Sgt Pepper-inspired arrangement of The Messenger is hamstrung by the thin vocals. Lyrically, he tends towards the literal, eschewing poetic licence for telling you exactly what he means. Unlike Any Other addresses climate change through a series of soundbites, although musically it’s monotonous. However, Grass Is Greener is the weakest entry, rhyming Australia with failure and Poland with Roland. With a bigger budget, Burness may yet produce his magnum opus but perhaps he should consider joining forces with a singer.