Years ago, during a late-night lament, I was talking to a friend, about a new song I’d recently heard. I liked it but didn’t think it was amazing. My main complaint was it didn’t really go anywhere. She responded “Why does it always have to go somewhere. I like not going anywhere”. This sums up Tim Bowness’ new album ‘Late Night Laments’.
The songs have clever melodies and, production wise, it sounds great. Lyrically it does enough to make you think about what they are about, whilst remaining pretty vague, but none of the songs actually go anywhere. From the opening notes you know where they will end up. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. Songs don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time, but Bowness plays it a bit too safe on ‘Late Night Laments’.
‘Darkline’ opens with a music box vibe and Bowness’ husky vocals drift above it while synths envelope them. And that’s it for the rest of the song, save a solo or two. It gently plods along doing very little and never getting out of second gear both lyrically and musically.
‘Late Night Laments’ is an apt title. The songs are filled with the kind of emotional musings you get in the wee small hours, just before dawn but still dark, after a heavy night out when you and someone else think that one, or three, more is probably a good idea and that bed is for the weak willed. The songs have a confessional vibe to them, but the confessions aren’t that shocking, or exciting. They’re just, well, alright. You know the kind of thing. Someone is wrapped with guilt about something all-consuming that equals copying someone’s French homework in Year Nine. That isn’t to say the songs aren’t enjoyable, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard before.
Existing fans will lap this up, and there is something for new listeners to enjoy, but after a few listens it is an underwhelming album that will probably remain buried in your digital library.
Words: Nick Roseblade
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