Release Date: Jul 24, 2015
Record label: Inside Out Music
In the realm of art rock, few voices are as delicate, emotive, and classy as that of English singer/songwriter Tim Bowness. Perhaps best known as one-half of both No-Man (alongside Steven Wilson) and Henry Fool (alongside Stephen Bennett), Bowness has also appeared as a guest on works by Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree), OSI, and Nosound. Naturally, he’s also an accomplish solo artist whose two previous efforts, My Hotel Year (2004) and Abandoned Dancehall Dreams (2014), further demonstrated how capable he is at spearheading projects.
Review Summary: "I believed in whatever you believed in, stupid things that mean the world" Tim Bowness, one of the most expressive voices in contemporary music returns with the second chapter of his brand new, solo sonic experiments. Released roughly a year after Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, Stupid Things That Mean The World can be seen as a direct follow-up that not only manages to consolidate his strengths, but also takes a step forward towards new territories. I was anxious to hear the results as the man never fails to create something interesting and gripping (at the very least).Although a sequel, STTMTW contrasts its predecessor in both the atmosphere it creates, as well as the emotions it evokes.
Tim Bowness will forever be best known for No-Man, his long-running – but now sadly dormant – collaboration with prog superstar Steven Wilson. Having said that, Stupid Things That Mean the World, which follows up last year’s Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, demonstrates clearly and concisely that Bowness has more than enough songwriting nous to produce excellent records without his long-term collaborator. Opener ‘The Great Electric Teenage Dream’ feels, more than anything else on the album, like a direct continuation of Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, retaining as it does the vaguely claustrophobic feel of that album’s opener, ‘The Warm Up Man Forever’.
Best known for his work in No-Man, alongside Steven Wilson (though he’s also collaborated with Judy Dyble and Japan, plus Porcupine Tree keyboardist Richard Barbieri, among others), Tim Bowness claims to have entered a new chapter of his creative life, starting with last year’s solo outing, Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, and continuing with this new solo album. Stupid Things… is a suite of songs rescued from burning embers, regretful sadness and wistful loss. It’s hard not to hear in it a synergy with Steven Wilson’s own recent solo work, not just the way in which Bowness inhabits a sense of how fresh and regenerative progressive music should be, but also because of how it feels intimately heartfelt.
The Upshot: Airy pop, noisy art rock and subversive romanticism from the No-Man man, abetted by members of No-Man and Porcupine Tree, Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera, Van Der Graaf Generator’s Peter Hammill and King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto. As a solo artist, Tim Bowness – singer for No-Man, majordomo at Burning Shed, prog/pop vocalist for hire – was previously known for taking years between projects. Something’s lit a fire under his butt, however – Stupid Things Mean the World comes a mere year after last year’s Abandoned Dancehall Dreams.