Stupid Things That Mean The World (2CD)

Domestic jewel box edition has the identical contents to the European version.

"Tim Bowness, one of the most expressive voices in contemporary music returns with the second chapter of his brand new, solo sonic experiments. Released roughly a year after Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, Stupid Things That Mean The World can be seen as a direct follow-up that not only manages to consolidate his strengths, but also takes a step forward towards new territories. I was anxious to hear the results as the man never fails to create something interesting and gripping (at the very least).

Although a sequel, STTMTW contrasts its predecessor in both the atmosphere it creates, as well as the emotions it evokes. Since the production is substantially airier this time around, it manages to unfold quicker than ADD, creating shorter, but profound tunes. We get cuts like the title track or 'Where You've Always Been' whose playful, sustained rhythms bring forth quite an unusual, uplifting side of Bowness we rarely get to see. However, this is only a part of a darker record that often feels tensed and frustrated. The characters he portrays have missed several opportunities over the years, feel overwhelmed by life, ugly or devoid of any feelings that once made them feel alive. The most representative numbers are 'The Great Electric Teenage Dream' and 'Press Reset'. There's anger in the powerful guitars and regret in the nostalgic piano lines, whereas the cold, industrial touch present especially on the latter, magnifies this uneasy vibe. Tim also delivers his parts with a poignant tone, boosting the tracks with some of his heaviest hitting moments.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have two of the most gorgeous, subdued tracks on the album, 'Sing To Me' and 'Know That You Were Loved' lying in between the aforementioned rockers. They are a lot more comfortable for older fans as each shares similarities with previous helmed projects. 'Sing To Me' stemmed from a 20-year old No-Man demo, entitled 'Best Boy Electric', recorded somewhere in the middle of Wild Opera's recording sessions. Tim reworked it and created a lovely ballad with eerie guitar leads, warm bass and echoed piano lines. Sound-wise, it reminisces 'Smiler at 50' from ADD. 'Know That You Were Loved' is a mostly acoustic affair that brings to mind the low-key No-Man album, Together We're Stranger. Occasional lap steel touches and guitar solos embellish the stripped foundation, yet his voice is once more the focal point.

There is a dark appeal to Stupid Things That Mean The World that some might or might not be fond of. Abandoned Dancehall Dreams was a melancholic yet grandiose affair that was easier to wrap your head around. This time, the often bare bones instrumentals push Tim's vocal melodies in front, usually focusing more on the lyrical content than the music itself. Moreover, helped by some elite members of the British nu-prog/art rock wave such as Bruce Soord of Pineapple Thief (who also produced the album), Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, long time collaborators Stephen Bennet, Phil Manzanera and Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson, Michael Bearpark or the classical composer Andrew Keeling (among others), Bowness has managed to avoid repetition and create a piece of work that truly complements its prequel. This is a beautiful, cohesive album that stirs so many emotions and speaks for itself. It might not be as immediate or as catchy as ADD, but does the most important thing: paving new grounds." - Sputnik Music

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • "Dawn of a New Era is the third album by the female-fronted French Progressive/Melodic Metal band Venturia, and finds them returning after a couple personnel changes. In 2009, the band parted with singer Mark Ferreira for personal reasons, with their guitarist, Charly Sahona, taking on the role of the lead male vocalist. Then in 2010, Venturia lost former drummer Diego Rapacchietti and replaced him with Frederic Marchal, a long-term friend of the band. In this album, Venturia have also developed their style less towards complicated arrangements and more towards the melodies. There are still elements of the previous albums with the multi-layered vocals, technical playing, and synth-y keyboard sound, and there are still subtle uses of compound time signatures, but they have really toned down on the complicated instrumentals and compound rhythms. For this reason I am sure some will complain that the band is leaning more towards a commercial sound, with others praising them for being more accessible. In any case, I will say that Venturia are not your typical female-fronted metal band. They combine hooky-melodies with technical playing and a progressive background, trading off between female and male vocals as well as full vocal harmonies, technical heavy guitars, and a rich, atmospheric keyboard background." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • A new release from Causa Sui is like money in the bank.  The new Live At Freak Valley is no exception.  The live milieu is where the band really shines.  If you are unfamilar with the band you should know that the band's origins date back to the stoner scene but they evolved into something different - something more psychedelic - more organic.  The quartet features Jakob Skott (drums), Jonas Munk (guitar), Jess Kahr (bass), and Rasmus Rasmussen (keyboards).  The band goes off on looooong instrumental jams.  Munk's guitarwork has a beautiful fluidity that plays off of Rasmussen's keyboards which tend to surge to the forefront like waves on the ocean - or sit back and become a nice supporting backdrop for Munk's lead work.  I love when Munk burst out with a chunk of heavy riffage that recalls their stoner days.  Reminds me of vintage Zeppelin!  Highly recommended.
    $35.00
  • Steven Wilson's second solo album features a variety of interesting prog luminaries including Steve Hackett, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Theo Travis, and Jordan Rudess. Proggier than his first solo album and frankly recent Porcupine Tree. Lots of Mellotron bliss on this one. Exemplary production wraps up the total package.
    $16.00
  • Al DiMeola's solo debut from 1976, was released right around the time of RTF's Romantic Warrior. Stellar lineup includes the other three members of Return To Forever, Mingo Lewis, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Barry Miles, Jaco Pastorius, and Alphonse Mouzon.
    $5.00
  • "Suddenly, Polish progressive-rock bands are infiltrating the international scene. While many of them are reaching new audiences thanks to the rise of the homeland's Metal Mind Productions, ProgRock Records in the United States managed to nab one of the best. Sandstone initially was formed in 2001 without a keyboard player. But as the band's sound evolved into a hybrid of neo-progressive and progressive-metal music – think, maybe, Arena meets Dream Theater – the quartet quickly realized it needed keys to add texture and depth to its songs.Sandstone's debut, Looking For Myself, is an expansive, six-song journey chronicling one man's struggle for nothing more than to love and to be loved. It sounds more upbeat than Riverside (arguably one of the biggest acts to come out of Poland in recent years) and less technical than Dream Theater. But the sheer ambition of these songs – only one of which clocks in at shorter than seven and a half minutes – propels Looking For Myself into the ranks of those debut discs that leave listeners not only wanting more but also wondering where else the band could take the music. The best indication of Sandstone's capabilities can be heard on "Birth of My Soul," which opens with clear and concise soloing from guitarist Jarek Niecikowski and eventually reaches David Gilmour aspirations near the song's conclusion. Vocalist Marcin Zmorzynski's thick accent is a minor distraction early on, but getting used to it is easy.As is listening to this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • 30th Anniversary 24 bit HDCD remaster. Well...Mr. Fripp finally relented - this is the first time Earthbound has been released on CD and it still sounds like crap. Groon is great tho...
    $11.00
  • "The venerable Max Cavalera unfurls another diverse sonic tapestry with Soulfly's fourth album -- and where the former Sepultura man of ideas floundered a bit with Primitive and 3, Prophecy simultaneously returns to his roots (pun intended) while successfully integrating the myriad of organic influences that resulted in his being tagged the "Bob Marley of metal." That being said, Prophecy's first five cuts come armed with stone-carved riffs that are ragged, sharp, and fresh from the grinding wheel, and hulking steamroller rhythms, until "Mars," halfway through, deviates into a placid oasis-jam of Caribbean percussion, organs, and nylon-string mariachi guitar. "I Believe" and "Moses" are perhaps Cavalera's most powerful and spiritual endeavors to date, the former a heartfelt, unpretentious excursion into melody and spoken word expression, and the latter being a fascinatingly meandering, reggae-inflected jam with Serbian group Eyesburn. While the biggest criticism leveled at Soulfly on albums past was their lack of continuity, Prophecy isn't a hodgepodge of unusual instrumentation and guest stars (although former Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson plays on a few tracks with minimal distraction), hardcore screeds such as "Porrada," "Born Again Anarchist," and "Defeat U" meshing coherently with Cavalera's ever-present ear for experimentation, usually integrated in segues between songs. It all makes for an equally inspired and inspiring dozen tracks featuring some of Cavalera's best straightforward metal, possibly since Sepultura's Roots ("Execution Style" is particularly riveting and visceral, as is a cover of Helmet's seminal "In the Meantime"). Now that Soulfly is essentially Cavalera's guitar, voice, and songs plus a revolving door of musicians, the often-spectacular Prophecy finds him coalescing nicely as a solo artist, and solidifying the truth behind the initially superficial Bob Marley comparison." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "When people think of Melodic Power Metal from Finland, obviously two of the biggest acts that come to mind are STRATOVARIUS and SONATA ARCTICA. ASTRALION are another quintet pumping out that addictive, uplifting Euro Power Metal sound on their debut, self-titled album. Forming in 2011 and containing two ex-OLYMPOS MONS members in vocalist Ian Highhill and bassist Dr. K. Lundell, they also have two musicians from the Thrash band THE ADDICATION in their ranks with drummer Arnold Hackman and guitarist Hank Newman. Keyboardist Thomas Henry rounds out the lineup, so the experience in terms of players and musicianship makes this 11 song record much easier to ingest than the average ‘newer’ act attempting to breakthrough on this very active scene.The foundation of ASTRALION’s style cements itself in the early to mid-90’s Power Metal movement: chord structures that have a touch of that mead hall/ cultural thematic feel, as well as those larger than life choruses that BLIND GUARDIAN, GAMMA RAY, and HELLOWEEN made a staple of their sound. The keyboards certainly have that Finnish meets FREEDOM CALL happy tone – the opening strains of “At the Edge of the World” reminding me at times of “Hunting High and Low” from STRATOVARIUS. Of course you’ll get the prototypical speed numbers featuring guitar/keyboard synchronized arpeggio-like runs as the double bass cruises and the vocals hit ultimate bird call highs – “When Death Comes Knocking” and “Five Fallen Angels” textbook Power Metal 101 arrangements that should go down a storm.Beyond the mid-tempo ‘ode to what we love about the genre at hand number “We All Made Metal;” I also enjoyed the theatrical/ semi-Symphonic nature of the dramatic “Computerized Love” as well as the 13 minute epic closer “Last Man on Deck” that opens in ballad form before picking up the Neo-Classical pace and giving Hank and Thomas ample solo break / ‘can you top this’ moments. Ian may not tickle all the right notes vocally at times, but his passion and personality makes up for any small deficiencies. I come away every time singing the chorus to “Mysterious & Victorious”, and isn’t that half the battle in winning over consumers in this style?ASTRALION are off to a high quality start, so those who miss the 1990’s style of Power Metal would be wise to scoop this up." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • "From December 1971 to April 1972, Carlos Santana and several other members of Santana toured with drummer/vocalist Buddy Miles, a former member of the Electric Flag, and Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys. The resulting live album contained both Santana hits ("Evil Ways") and Buddy Miles hits ("Changes"), plus a 25-minute, side-long jam. It was not, perhaps, the live album Santana fans had been waiting for, but at this point in its career, the band could do no wrong. The album went into the Top Ten and sold a million copies." - All Music Guide
    $7.00
  • Limited edition digipak with three bonus tracks."What can we say about Liv Kristine, a beautiful Scandinavian enchantress, who has been one of the most prominent figures of gothic metal for the past 20 years and was a part of pioneering the beauty and the beast vocal style of singing? We first got to know her more than unique, angelic soprano when we met her as one of the front figures in a legendary gothic metal band Theatre Of Tragedy, but meanwhile she also set herself a solo career in 1998, with her romantic and beautifully gloomy debut Deus Ex Machina. She continued in a bit lighter manner, with following three releases Enter My Religion, Skintight and Libertine being slightly goth influenced pop-rock records, full of upbeat and catchy tunes, in which she still managed to radiate a crestfallen feel and evolve more and more vocally with each and every release. Now she presents us with her 5th full length album, which carries its title after a potent herb, which is known as one of the greatest weaknesses of vampires: Vervain.With Vervain, Liv Kristine decided to return to her roots and take us on a beautiful journey through dark rock with so many various influences; ranging from gothic metal, doom metal and even pop. Her first single, "Love Decay", which features Michelle Darkness from End Of Green on vocals, is a wonderful drive down the memory lane, as their duet and dreamy keyboards - especially at the very ending of the song - nostalgically take us more than a decade in the past - in the era of Theatre of Tragedy's marvelous creation Aégis. Their voices couldn't fit together more perfectly, as they create an amazing, emotional and heartbreaking atmosphere just by singing. It's not a coincidence Liv Kristine has collaborated with so many musicians, since she knows just how to entwine two different voices and voice colours to exist in perfect symbiosis.  Another duet, this time with the legendary vocalist Doro Pesch, is presented in a song "Stronghold Of Angels" and the very beginning of the song goes even further in the past, as its slow and doom-esque intro reminds of Theatre Of Tragedy's earliest works - the eponymous debut and Velvet Darkness They Fear. And you can imagine, with two strong vocalists such as Liv Kristine and Doro nothing can go wrong and Doro's powerful and slightly raspy voice again creates the ambivalent feel alongside Liv's crystalline soprano. "My Wilderness", "Vervain" and "Elucidation" are at the same time gracious and strong, slightly harsher songs, which will please the fans of Leaves Eyes. Their dense and rich song structure, alongside Liv's fierce vocals and guitars, which are flirting with alternative metal, certainly bring an unique ambiance to it, being at the same time romantically frail and glamorously dark. While "Lotus" is the fragile ballad and "Creeper" the power ballad of the album, "Two And A Heart" and "Oblivious" again present the colours of early Theatre Of Tragedy; "Oblivious" with doom oriented guitars and "Two And A Heart" with Liv's more than perfect vocal performance and additional piano tune, creating a doleful and sombre sound.It's more than enjoyable to once again hear Liv Kristine peering into the depths of gothic metal and including the typical romantic, yet saddened ambient into the songs, subsequently creating - well - a small theatre of tragedy inside each and every track.  All songs carry a very strong and dramatic structure; starting gently and building suspense to a peak of a story and then ending with a memorable crescendo, either by changing the tempo or adding more guitars; each and every track has a story of its own. While the rhythm section is gentler on Vervain, the guitars and keyboards alongside emotional, layered vocals create the core of the album. Ranging from upbeat and powerful melodies, through heartsore and gloomy tracks to fragile ballads, Vervain offers a wide array of highly captivating and intense sounds, evoking an extensive spectre of emotions and veils the whole album in a melancholic atmosphere, which will undoubtedly please the old and the new fans of Liv Kristine." - Terra Relicta
    $13.00
  • "Factory of Dreams is a project uniting multi-instrumentalist Hugo Flores and Jessica Lehto, on vocal harmonies and arrangements.Hugo Flores formed the band "Sonic Pulsar", which released two albums, 'Playing the Universe', in 2003, and 'Out of Place', in 2006. The success of the two albums further inspired Hugo to create a massive multi-album story project under the moniker "Project Creation", from which he released another two albums, 'Floating World' in 2005 and 'Dawn on Pyther' in 2007.In 2008 Hugo was once again inspired, this time by vocalist Jessica Lehto to create new music outside of the style he'd been working. In 2008, the duo released 'Poles'. It was received well critically, and they followed the success with 'A Strange Utopia', in 2009. 'Melotronical' followed in 2011.Jessica Lehto has performed on many outside projects, including recently on Beto Vazquez and Infinity's, 'Beyond Space Without Limits'. Lehto has her own project: 'Once There Was'. She's now also writing music and scripts for TV and movies."This is the kind of album that is a pleasure to experience.'Prelude' is a warning of a conceptual sci-fi future that follows the adventures of Kyra, a unique and mysterious character who holds the key to the Earth's fate. Angela Merrithew narrates the opening as Kyra, as she awakes exhausted and in distress from a dream, to a world in transition. The spacey synth sound effects are some of the best I've heard since last year's masterpiece, Atoma's 'Skylight' The rapidly increasing decibels of the pre-launch rocket sounds will take your mind out of this world. Close your eyes as you are listening to this one. It is as visual as it is an incredible aural experience.More cool spacey synths and keys, offered by Shawn Gordon as 'Strange Sounds' opens, before Jessica Lehto's beautiful soprano voice slices through the mix. Her siren calling sounds are simply ear-bending. Then piano – like keys take over along with growling lead electric guitar and pulsating drums and bass. "The stars are screaming. A storm is coming". Yes, a storm of vicious thrashing electric guitar…and it is fantastic set against Lehto's soprano. Excellent.Shawn Gordon is back to add some more very cool spacey synths as 'Escaping the Nightmare' opens slowly. Then Lehto's voice returns with male vocal support from Flores. The amount of spacey electric guitar solos flying around the soundscape will amaze you.'Angel Tears' opens with piano – like keys and Raquel Schüler on lead vocals. It is a soft song, full of emotion. "Kyra I wanna be with you. Kyra please let me through. Kyra share your dreams with me. Kyra don't shut me out", as destruction across the planet fills the storyline. Power keys, flashing electric guitar licks, heavy bass and drums overwhelm. Mark Ashby provides narration, as Kyra's boyfriend, as the two drive out of the destruction of the collapsing city to the seashore ahead.Nathan Ashby, as the child, opens 'Seashore Dreams' with story narration. Then, Tadashi Goto provides some awesome synth solos. Later Lyris Hung provides expert violin dashes which will be remembered long after the album completes. All this excellent music while Lehto's dream-like voice soars over the soundscape.'Dark Season' opens slowly with excellent synths before slowly growing drum pulses turn into full blown thunder. Magali Luyten's vocals provide a dark and powerful magic to this track.'Sound War' is full of brilliant keys at the opening, before piano like keys take over. Lehto's voice races to catch up to the keys fleetingly dancing across the soundscape as crushing bass, drums and grinding lead electric guitar roar forward.'Hope Garden' offers some of Chris Brown's guest slicing electric lead guitar soloing. Lehto's voice is consistently brilliant as she continues to deliver the spacey storyline. The thundering bass, drums and Brown's electric lead will make this track memorable long after the disc finishes."Show me the way to your mind" from the soft and beautiful voice of Lehto, as Chris Brown's roaring electric guitar solos and Tadashi Goto's synth solos electrify 'Traveling'. "Childhood memories. Hidden and now awaken. Reaching the deep corners of Space. Entering the realm of the Star's Mind..." Yes!'The Neutron Star' is full of Chris Brown's power electric guitar grinding, while Lyris Hung provides soft violin to balance the sound as Lehto and Flores help provide the continuing storyline and vocal effects.Mark Ashby returns to narrate the opening of 'Join Us Into Sound', as Tadashi Goto provides stellar synth solos, while the rushing electric lead guitar, bass, and pounding drums deliver their consistent rhythm.'Playing the Universe' closes the album with soft and dramatic accelerating keys that are some of the best on the album. Then the lead electric guitar explodes as the bass and drums build a powerful wall of sound surrounding the soft flute like keys in the middle. Lehto's siren – like vocals call you from the center of the mix as those electric riffs cut and bend all around you. Nice effect. ;^)This is an album filled with great music and excellent female lead vocalists. The storyline is interesting and the lyrical development is well conceived. Definitely an album you will want to experience with headphones in the comfort of your easy chair…with your eyes closed. Venefica Luna's artwork is simply out of this world. Some of the best I've seen since the 'Master', Ed Unitsky. Let the story unfold as you bask in the glow of the surrounding soundscape." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • For some this was the start of an era for others the end.  This took my hopes and dreams for a true progressive supergroup for the 80s and stomped them into dust.  Your mileage may vary.
    $5.00
  • "Germany's Eden Circus is a band that has been together for a while but worked tirelessly on the songs that make up this, their debut album, "Marula." Much like the time they invested in the album and its songs, the listener should be just as committed to listening to the album and giving it the necessary time to plant its seeds and grow. When I first listened to "Marula," I thought it was just a good album with a fair amount of contrast in each song. But when you have those contrasts (i.e., quieter moments and heavier moments), it's important to pay closer attention to how they are used and what is going on. It's easy to think "Wow, that's so subtle" and not really listen to the vocal or the intricacies of the music underneath.The fact that vocalist Siegmar Pohl has a very quiet, raspy voice that tends to blend with the music just makes it more challenging. But the key to music that has a thick layer of complexity is to listen to it over and over, allowing it to reveal itself. You cannot force "Marula" to be something it isn't. It has elements of '90s alternative progressive metal like Tool, but don't expect them to attack you like Tool would. They have post-prog moments like Porcupine Tree, yet they never commit to sounding like them. Eden Circus is familiar but still a stranger. You think you know what will happen next but when it doesn't, you aren't sure why.The opener "Devoid of Purpose" starts off quietly before it works its way into heavier riffing. "Comfort" has quieter verses leading to a very angular riff that works as the chorus. Siegmar does have a harsh vocal in his arsenal but uses it quite sparingly, which makes those moments all the more powerful. A perfect example is "101" where he works his way to a growl.The majority of the songs are long, which allows them room to ebb and flow as needed. In addition to the aforementioned songs, my favorite tracks are the two closers, "Her Lovely Hands Upon the Black Earth" and "Playing You." Both are atmospheric, progressive and epic - full of dynamics.Eden Circus has figured out how to be melodic but not make it so obvious that you tire of them. "Marula" is a textbook "grower" of an album. If I were to give it a rating a month from now, it would probably be an even higher rating." - Power Of Metal
    $14.00