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