# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Only Child - Emotional Geography

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 26 / 3 / 2019

Only Child - Emotional Geography
Label: Only Child
Format: CD


Passionate third album from Only Child, the project of Liverpudlian musician Alan O’Hare, which pays tribute to his own roots

The creative force behind behind Only Child is Alan O’Hare, and with this, their third album - 'Emotional Geography' - we see a songsmith reach new creative heights. It is a collection of songs that are rooted within and draw inspiration from surroundings and locations that means so much for him. 'Emotional Geography' starts with the powerful 'Scouse', a song that is at once a rallying call, or even a love-letter to this unique area of the UK, or for that matter the world.It lists the region's strengths, culture and hospitality, and although you could label some of the lyrics as slightly trite, you would be missing the point, as the strength of the song comes in what O’Hare always delivers - passion. The song starts off with a beautiful violin motif, which echoes the main melody of the song. And immediately the line “refugee camp in the city, refugees down Scotland Yard” bring us back to the years of Irish Immigration, the period that shaped the city. Indeed it was once joked that Liverpool was the capital of Ireland. But this city opens it arms and welcomes everyone, letting everyone who wishes to “build a home on Merseyside”. It is touching and poignant. If the album starts strongly, it maintains its standards with 'Lookin” for a Song', which transports us to sunny Barcelona, then Paris, and Dublin, perhaps on a past adventure with friends. Now I have an idea who this titular boy maybe, but it doesn’t really matter. O’Hare skilfully manipulates the this metaphor into a universal truth that we can all emotional resinate with. And he continues to do this throughout the album: haven’t we all got a Plover that we have said goodbye to as we move on through life? There is no where better to see this emotion generated through place as the song 'St Oswald’s Street' which O”Hare recites his and his family life events that took place in that “shadow of the steeple”. The draw of place, the emotional tug, stays with you always, even the you have left. Somehow events in the past are always anchored to place. We are all part of where we are situated, and that in the broadest sense means the earth we walk upon. Humanity can control our environment to some extent, but like Sisyphus who relentlessly pushed his boulder up the hill, we cannot master the ageing process that nature bestows on all living things. This global feel is continued with the achingly beautiful 'Heart of the World' which makes the connection between the natural and artistic world with the aid of another beautiful musical motif, this time played on guitar. The album concludes with 'Thinking of a Place', which is an appropriate way of tieing up all the threads of observations and questions that O’Hare poses throughout 'Emotional Geography'. We are now taken back to places that meant so much to him with members of his family, his father and his daughter. The line ‘one and one make three” is such an incredibly nuanced observation - the place adds to our relationship, it is the extra factor in meaningful memory. A sense of ‘place” also gives colour to memory, as well as presence of music. O’Hare’s triumph is that he has skilfully woven the two to evoke those universal memories that we all have within us. Which is some skill indeed.

Track Listing:-
1 Scouse
2 Lookin' For A Song
3 Bye Bye Plover
4 Beautiful Bobby Dylan
5 She Comes When I'm At My Saddest
6 St Oswald's Street
7 Older
8 Heart Of The World
9 Coming Home Soon
10 Thinking Of A Place

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