Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Poetry does not have to be confined, if it ever is, to the written down Bard or the stand up performance in a bustling city café; poetry is everywhere, the feeling of the poetic, the graceful and the profound rhythm can be seen in almost anything; it just requires a certain perceptive, enquiring mind and sensitivity to the issue in which to come out and be applauded.
One of arguably the most enquiring minds, raised on a sensible diet of a city always looking after its own, of great respect for his family and the awareness to look at the other musicians and artists that come through Bold Street, Church Street and take stock in venues such as The Cavern, Studio Two and the Philharmonic Hall is Alan O’ Hare. It is that understanding, of taking everything in and digesting all, that his music under the guise of Only Child is so fascinating and clear and in the new album, The Whale Found Its Way To The Shore, Only Child once again reach exotic but down to Earth heights.
Having already released the outstanding opening track Buildings early in the year as a knock out single, Only Child continue the form shown in that tentative teaser and provide great music with great lyrical vision throughout The Whale Found Its Way To The Shore. There are times when a single delivered a few months before the release the album can lull the listener into a sense of false security, the feeling of a song that overwhelms and enhances the day might under the strain of holding an album together in place might have flaws and cracks in them that were first unnoticed. Not so at all in The Whale Found Its Way To The Shore, this is just the first step in a march that calls upon all to join in, that insists with politeness to listen, take heed and then shout down the dissenters with all their might.
With tracks such as On Jane Street, the feeling of beautiful embracement in Whole Wide Universe, Turn Up The Radio, the displacement of Accidental Englishman and the glorious abandonment of Outside Looking In, Only Child retain that poetic heartbeat that comes with the search for a truth, of legitimate candour and dedication to discretion; a poet of exactness with a guitar and a great set of musicians, Jon Lawton, Laura McKinlay, Vanessa Murray, John Jenkins, Howard Northover and Fiona McConnell joining in the cause.
Only Child face reality with accurate and honest endeavour; there is no greater accolade to bestow upon them.
Ian D. Hall