Tim Bowness
Butterfly Mind


3.8
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
August 11th, 2022 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A career retrospective in one listen…

Tim Bowness has evolved significantly as a solo artist over the past decade. Although the shy, but underrated 2004 debut My Hotel Year mostly flew under the radar, he re-emerged strongly ten years later with the lovely Abandoned Dancehall Dreams. The latter established a more cohesive sound thanks to a collective of contributors who still help expand Tim’s visions today. With each LP, the artist grew more confident and decided to approach different styles, especially on 2019’s Flowers at the Scene. Thankfully, Bowness’ latest effort, Butterfly Mind maintained the same approach, displaying various bits from his influences and projects over the past 40 years. Yes, it seems shocking, however, the man started his musical career in 1982 under the moniker Always the Stranger. The eponymous song here is a tribute to his humble beginnings, whereas its retro futuristic pop sound is augmented by silky vocals, as well as a smooth blend of delayed staccato and atmospheric guitar leads. There is also the book two-part tune “Say Your Goodbyes”, going through several motions, all leaning heavily on ‘80s synths. It also introduces the jazzy flute solos that accompany multiple tracks on the record. Meanwhile, “We Feel” hits harder with moody bass lines and occasional distorted guitars. There are various electronic touches wrapped around the main groove, plus the melodic chorus nicely contrasts the other segments. This is a sort of natural, more confident sequel to “It’s the World”, plus, you can feel Steven Wilson's mixing in the overall vibe. Moreover, “Only a Fool”, a playful post punk ditty with catchy choruses and a dense instrumental is something I wouldn’t have heard Tim pulling off a few years ago. Nevertheless, he challenged himself and did it while making it a fun listen too.

Soon, Butterfly Mind retreats into mid-to-downtempo territory, featuring familiar output. The tender, trip hop influenced “It’s Easier to Love” grows into a bittersweet yet soothing ballad. Same goes for “Lost Player” and “About the Light That Hits the Forest Floor”, each combining Bowness’ lovely croon with layers of lush synthesizers, gentle guitar and piano chords. Both share a nostalgic atmosphere, still, there always seems to be a dim light shining at the end of each story. The album reaches a climax with “Dark Nevada Dream”, an 8-minute epic, the type Tim excels at. Amid the breezy, melancholic piano notes, guitars and sound scapes occasionally embellish, until a Hammond organ takes the lead halfway through. The front man beautifully sings a tale of falling apart in the wake of personal and professional failures. His lyrical focus on small details of daily life always fascinated me, being able to often capture relatable, intimate situations in few verses.

At this point, whoever listened to Tim Bowness’ music knows what to expect, however, the man still manages to surprise his listeners on each record. No two projects sound the same in his discography and Butterfly Mind is another lovely journey of an eclectic prog-tinged/art pop nature.



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user ratings (8)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 11th 2022


6213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Another solid album. Tim isn't popular on Sputnik, but it's worth a listen at least. I wish he cut a couple of ballads and include some more upbeat, experimental stuff.



Stream here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjezTc0oaQ4&list=PLiN-7mukU_RH8v_RnfBIzPS88Wd_UNmER

Koris
Staff Reviewer
August 11th 2022


21390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review! I was initially gonna tackle it, but I'm glad you did so instead. I mostly know Tim from No-Man, but the stuff I heard off this was extremely solid

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2022


6030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review! Solid album, pretty middle of the road as far as Tim Bowness' music goes.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2022


6213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks. I thought nobody was interested in reviewing it.



I agree that some of the songs here are more of the same stuff Tim does, but the more upbeat others are strong. I recently got more into his debut My Hotel Year, I dig the low key, often minimalist songs there.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2022


6030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't heard My Hotel Year but I should check it out. Late Night Laments is my favorite of his, which seems to be an unpopular pick.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2022


6213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I think the album slipped by because it was released during those first months of pandemic when a lot of records flew by. Fewer people were paying attention to music then IMO. My Hotel Year has the same intimate vibe, but musically it's more eclectic. From what Tim mentioned, it was basically a collection of tracks composed with various friends and collaborators. Check out if you have the time Last Year's Tattoo, Brave Dreams, I Once Loved You or World Afraid.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2022


6030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice, will do!



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