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Tim Bowness - My Hotel Year

  by Chris Jones

published: 26 / 2 / 2005

Tim Bowness - My Hotel Year
Label: One Little Indian
Format: CD


Intimate and subtle post rock on debut solo album from Tim Bowness, who has previously worked with Porcupines Tree's Steven Wilson in No-Man, Centrozoon, Richard Barbieri and David Torn

As I've spent more nights in hotels than I have at home so far this year, the title of this CD struck a chord with me.  Over the course of a 15 year music career, I'm sure Tim Bowness has seen his share of hotel rooms as well. This is, however, his first solo release.  Fittingly, this is a very personal sounding collection of songs performed with a maturity and confidence that surely came from years of making music. The sombre tone and slow pace of the music add a deep, intense feel to the album, yet not so much so that listening to the album brings on a feeling of depression. The vocals are delivered in a soft, intimate voice, but it is not a weak one. The lyrics aren't mumbled and hidden in the mix nor are they crying "poor me". I found the latter trait quite refreshing.  They do carry a sense of loss and being lost at times, but there is a sense of dignity too. Just because things aren't all going as planned doesn't mean that hope is gone. Musically, the songs have an interesting assortment of guitar, piano, some horns, and programmed elements (beats, electronic fuzz).  It's a very unique palette of sounds that Bowness manages to blend together quite smoothly.  And in doing so, he creates music that is both immediately familiar (David Bowie, Red House Painters, Tram, Portishead) and yet unlike any one artist I can think of...and in that way, it reminds me of Long Fin Killie and Cody. If there's anything to fault with this album, it may be that the songs flow almost a little too well.  Meaning, that for the most part the songs don't actively confront the listener.  Instead, they effortlessly float by and can easily disappear into the background.  While that subtleness can provide a soothing feeling in some ways, it requires the listener to actually listen. Hopefully, people will do that, as Tim Bowness has put together a very good album that deserves to be heard.

Track Listing:-
1 Last Year's Tattoo
2 I Once Loved You
3 World Afraid
4 The Me I Knew
5 Made See-Through
6 Hotel Year
7 Ian McShane
8 Blackrock 2000
9 Making A Mess In A Clean Place
10 Sleepwalker
11 Brave Dreams

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