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Tim Burness - Finding New Ways To Love

Tim Burness - Finding New Ways To LoveTim Burness is an established musician who has been in the business for over 25 years.  If you recognise the name Burnessence from the 1980's, which appeared on the same billing as prog outfits such as Pallas, IQ and Pendragon, that was Tim's band.  Following the demise of Burnessence in 1986, Tim took the solo route (and instantly achieved national radio airplay with his first single) although he has also contributed to albums by the ambient group, Tuu.  1997 saw the release of a solo mini album, Infinite Ocean, effectively a CD-EP, which sort of means that Finding New Ways To Love is Tim's true debut solo album.

Like most works of an artistic nature, Finding New Ways To Love is a personal introspective as well as a general observation on life and relationships, and on one or more of the songs, most of us will be sure to relate to the lyrics and the sentiments within.  Unfortunately, the day when men can read women's minds is a long way off ignoring Hollywood's What Women Want (do they really know what they want? Best leave that subject before I get into trouble!).

Down to business, the album is a combination of pop, pop/prog and prog.  The prog aspect is full of delightful Hacketty moments, almost with a Voyage Of The Acolyte feel reflecting Tim's interest in astrology perhaps.  The pop and pop/prog styles are at the quality end of the market, coming closest perhaps to Howard Jones but also touch on Thomas Dolby and Peter Gabriel and Crowded House (particularly on Love is for Giving). 

Vocals are often a contentious issue and I am aware that Tim, like so many artistes, has not escaped derogatory criticism in the past (even Peter Gabriel had his critics in the 70's) but it's all down to personal taste and allowing time to get used to a style and sound.  In this instance, Tim's voice is spot on and I find it hard to imagine the album being sung by anyone else.

As well as vocals, Tim plays guitars and e-bow on this album, which also features a number of guest musicians including Pendragon and ex-Steve Hackett drummer Fudge Smith, bass player Keith Hastings (ex-Alan Darby Band), The Damned's Monty Oxy Moron (keyboards) and percussionist Martin Franklin from ambient band, Tuu.

Including the 20 second intro Count In, the album consists of 12 tracks, all of which are of the right length, so it is a surprise to find the total running time is a mere 40 minutes.  The 40 minutes is put to good use, with no filler and no weak points whatsoever.

From a prog listener's perspective, there is most to gain from listening to the album as a whole, and repeat playings are certain to follow.  Recommended.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Tim Burness



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