Burness, Tim - Finding New Ways To Love

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Expanding Consciousness
Catalog Number: Expand 13
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:06:00

A common trap I get caught in is listening to an artist with whom I am completely unfamiliar and trying to categorize exactly what it is I'm hearing. You know, "this sounds like so-and-so," or "this reflects a noticeable influence of whats-their-names." Well, that's changing, thanks to one Tim Burness and his Finding New Ways To Love, an album so diverse that it's impossible to pigeon-hole. Oh sure, there are definitely some names that I would love to drop, but because the character of the music here is so unique, it just wouldn't be right to do so.

At his website, Tim Burness describes Finding New Ways To Love as "contemporary melodic rock." In some aspects, that's a pretty good description; in other aspects, it doesn't apply at all. Over the course of twelve songs - well, mostly songs - Tim Burness explores everything from modern rock to classical music and attitudes ranging from serious to downright humorous. The credit for such a sweeping range goes primarily to Burness who, along with his co-composers, seems to feel no limitations about how his songs should sound. Rock, pop, folk, and electronics are all well within Burness' grasp, and he is gracious - and smart - enough to leave room for that classical touch, courtesy of keyboardist Monty Oxy Moron (The Damned).

Finding New Ways To Love opens with a goofy bit, "Count In," then it's down to business with "Open Man," a seemingly straightforward folk-pop ballad built around light guitars and organ that features plenty of subtle modern rock accents. "Stepping Out" seems to follow suit, but tips a rocking hand with its driving percussion and good ol' hard rock in the choruses. "Stepping Out," a brief instrumental built on Burness' "backward guitar," flashes quickly by and gives way to "Heal Your Soul," a softly somber piece featuring a sparse arrangement of bass, percussion, synthesizer, and some tastefully spacey guitar work.

"Unstoppable Waves Of Joy" is the big instrumental here, building slowly on Chris Cordrey's hammered dulcimer melodies until shifting into high gear to become an ethereal and breath-taking space rocker. The oceanic quality is unmistakable; Cordrey's dulcimer portrays the rising and falling waves, while Burness effectively evokes both winds and seagulls. "An Interlude With Monty," a solo piano piece, features the classical skills of Oxy Moron, whose flawless playing really catches the ear with intricately melodic runs. The instrumental segment wraps with "Beneath The Surface," a nervy, dark-edged bit of industrial-sounding electronic ambience.

Burness returns to the microphone for "Love Is For Giving," a light rocker with layered guitars and keyboards that edges the song into neo-progressive territory. "Tomorrow's God," an ethereal ambient piece, uses synthesizers and electric guitars as the soundscape upon which Cordrey overlays sweet dulcimer melodies. Things take a sudden turn with "Walk Through The Darkness," a gritty rocker built on chunky power chords, grinding bass, thumping percussion, and Burness' angular guitar riffs. "One Dream" throws out one last red herring, kicking in as a crunchy acoustic rocker, only to suddenly morph into a brief bit of dreamy ambience.

Now that I think about it, if there's one thing about Finding New Ways To Love that bothers me, it's that nothing about it bothers me. Tim Burness has done a great job with Finding New Ways To Love; the songs, musicianship, and production are excellent. But it's Burness' eclecticism and the diversity of his songs that makes Finding New Ways To Love so good. Tired of the "same ol' same ol'"? Then check this one out.

Count In (0:20) / Open Man (4:34) / Stepping Out (4:36) / Returning To You (0:48) / Heal Your Soul (3:15) / Unstoppable Waves Of Joy (4:36) / An Interlude With Monty (3:43) / Beneath The Surface (1:30) / Love Is For Giving (4:54) / Tomorrow's God (3:36) / Walk Through The Darkness (5:17) / One Dream (2:51)

Tim Burness - vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion, e-bow, programming
Fudge Smith - drums
Keith Hastings - bass
Monty Oxy Moron - keyboards
Will Fry - percussion
Julian Tardo - programming
Martin Franklin - percussion
Chris Cordrey - hammer dulcimer

Burnessence - Burnessence (1983)
Burnessence - I Am You Are Me (1984)
'Learning To Fly' (single) (1989)
Power In Your Hands (1990)
Infinite Ocean (extended single) (1997)
Finding New Ways To Love (2004)
Vision On (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: David Cisco
Artist website: www.timburness.com
Hits: 1765
Language: english


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