Just under a year ago, as I was reviewing Mark Owen's past three solo albums, I commented that the quality of his music without Take That was so good that I just wished he'd release more - and here it is.
'The Art Of Doing Nothing' is Mark's first album in eight years, and ultimately his most accomplished, experimental to date. He has taken a considerably different direction from his Britpop styled debut 'Green Man' and the indie rock album 'In Your Own Time (a masterpiece), and here is a set of ten impressive, fresh sounding, guitar-based pop tracks. With choruses which sound like songs from a Coldplay album ('Raven' in particular), this is a great album for relaxing, and Mark's unique vocals make for an even more enjoyable listen. I had heard the single 'Stars' a few months ago, and was instantly impressed, as soon as I played the album's haunting opening track 'Giveaway', followed by 'The One', I knew that this could possibly be Mark's best solo record to date. It's different to the rest, but it's a great new direction to go. As always, Mark proves himself to be an excellent songwriter. Roll on the next album!
I have never really been into the music of Take That all that much, but Mark's solo material has always appealed to me. It is inevitable that some people out there will ridicule the news of a new Mark Owen release, but don't knock someone until you've heard what they are capable of. Highly recommended!