Band: Tim Bowness
CD Title: Lost in the Ghost Light
Label: InsideOut Records (2017)
Rating: Brilliant 5/5
You could say this is album number ten for Tim Bowness, six of those created under the No-Man name and four now as a solo artist. This however is far from a one-man show as Bowness calls upon a host of talent to execute his musical vision. They include the core band consisting of Stephen Bennett, Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief), Hux Nettermalm (Paatos) and Andrew Booker (Sanguine Hum), as well as guests including Kit Watkins (Happy the Man/Camel), Steve Bingham (No-Man) and the legendary Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull). Andrew Keeling (Robert Fripp/Hilliard Ensemble/Evelyn Glennie) arranges for string quartet and flute on three of the album’s songs. The whole musical endeavor was mixed and mastered by Bowness’s No-Man partner Steven Wilson. Lost in the Ghost Light is a thinking person’s concept album. Eight compositions that explore the world of modern music through the eyes of an aging rock star. Off the top I have to say this is brilliant stuff! For Progressive Rock fans there is something for everyone here from flute to Mellotron sounds and everything in between. The album has a very melancholy feel with most tunes in that mid-tempo range dominated by grand swells of music supported by keyboard arpeggios and flute solos in at least three of the songs. The guitars make an appearance here and there with stinging lead guitar lines, but in truth they tend to play a more supportive role. Everything is dominated by Bowness’ soft, pleading vocal style. Those vocals set the tone for everything as it weaves in and out of some classic and vintage keyboard sounds. As a listening experience, almost every song here brought big smiles to my face as the music hit all the right notes. It’s a full forty-three minutes long with a couple of the tracks clocking in at around nine-minutes and the others in the four to five minute range. These are grand compositions, richly orchestrated with many symphonic flourishes contrasting the many softer introspective segments. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this album and so much right with it. Lost in the Ghost Light is an absolutely wonderful listening experience. Highly recommended.