All you really need to know about this album can be summed up in this quote from Andy Tillision, who said, “Possibly one of a very few albums to be influenced by ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return to Forever that will be released this summer”. I must confess I had to google Squarepusher, but while I have plenty of ELP, Steely Dan and National Health in my collection, and I have a nodding acquaintance with Return to Forever, the others have never interested me so I will have to take his word for it. Of what there is no doubt whatsoever is that this is a progressive album in the very truest sense of the word. There are plenty of Canterbury musical references in particular, and tracks such as the epic “Jinxed in Jersey” show here are a band who are consistently refusing to conform to what anyone really think they should be doing, even from those within the prog scene. Andy’s storytelling is incredibly vivid, and one can imagine him undertaking the journey he describes, bringing the characters to life.

One has no idea where the music is going to lead from one minute to the next, as they treat progressive rock as an ideal as opposed to a style, no Genesis or Pink Floyd clones these, rather The Tangent is continuing to push boundaries just like it used to be. We can go from pleasant gentle harmony to a Hammond being ripped to pieces with a guitar hard over the top, no drums to a driving beat, electronics to quiet, one just never knows. We have the same line-up on this album as the last one, and the quintet are obviously comfortable with each other, egging each other on with layers that pay repeated playing and deep listening. The Tangent are undoubtedly one of the most interesting progressive bands around, and as someone who has followed Andy’s career with keen interest since Parallel or 90 Degrees all I can say is that this is yet another outstanding album.

Kev Rowland 9/10


Since 2015’s ‘Stupid Things That Mean The World’, Bowness has released two more solo albums (plus one with no-man and one with Peter Chilvers) and is now back with the third solo release ‘Late Night Laments’, so his sixth to date. Mixed by Steven Wilson and mastered by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout), this album is mostly a collaboration between Bowness and Brian Hulse, who provides synths, keyboards, guitars and programmed drums, yet there are also plenty of guests (although not as many as is often the case) including of course Colin Edwin and Richard Barbieri, but a special mention must be made of Tom Atherton, whose vibraphone provides a very different feeling to about half the numbers, while singer Melanie Woods may only be on three songs but has she has a major impact.

This is less dynamic than the last album I heard of is, more focus on softer numbers and beauty, yet is no less powerful for that. The vibraphone provides a strike and delay that is very different to keyboards, and when combined with fretless bass it has a wonderful effect, and then of course at the front we have Tim’s vocals. He truly is one of our finest singers, with a hidden strength, and his knowledge of how to layer the arrangements and yet somehow keeping them simple and allowing his voice to always be at the forefront of what is happening is very special indeed. I can understand why some people may feel this album is a little “samey”, but each one of these numbers is a delight, and the result is something I can play all day. Fans of no-man or Bowness should all be grabbing this as yet again he shows why he is so renowned as writer and performer.

Kev Rowland 8/10