Only Child-Looking Forward to Looking Back | Relive the tales
To say that Only Child has had a rich catalogue of music is an understatement. From meaningful, introspective lyrics to flowing melodies drawing from the essence of the words-we get everything. Remastered by Pete Maher (U2) for 2022, this album features 10 tracks, including a new single called Bruce. Let’s listen to a decade of narratives with Looking Forward to Looking Back.
An acoustic lead and strings tug at your fragile emotional scaffolding for the opening track. Only Child is the opening single, and it takes its natural turns like a rivulet finding adventure on the slopes. It understands for the moment the emotions at play, and what might have inspired such lyrics. The breaks are heavy, and the progressions give an emotional flow.
Looking for a Track has the running finger style magic of the Paper Kites, with the synths creeping in within moments. With a ghostly presence, it assists the guitar-while the vocals tell the tales of the past. Flourishes show some special magic every once in a while, not taking away much from the composition. Everybody Comes from Something is next, a chipper and joyful composition. Giving us a peer into people’s lives, Only Child knows the gripping story is the amalgam of it all-lyrics and instrumentation. The track imbibes an indie rock vibe that would play great on stage.
The dance of poetry
Scouse shaves away the white noise for a touching track. Like a Warren Zevon or Neil Diamond song, the spotlight is on the poetry that forms so much of the music. The soft instrumentals give formwork with enough flexibility for organic growth. Bruce, the new single recorded for this special release, is the next. There is a Neil Young goodness to the song, with its own highlights. The harmonics elevate the verses to make it a rich, fulfilling experience.
William Ralph Dean might be the singular track responsible for shifting the tone on this album. It has a galloping beat, with a simple and addictive riff, the bass resounding in the background. The song keeps building on the clean tone and peppy premise. North John Street makes the rounds with another acoustic ode, the thematic spine powerful in this one. Slower and intentional, it tries to personify the moment within this built entity responsible for so many stories.
Through the inside roads
…And the Band Played On is a layered magic trick. The droning sound helps enter the track, with the lyrics shifting in and out of the limelight. The song brings in some balance with stronger guitars in the chorus as well as the unique sound that is different from the usual catalogue being built. Accidental Englishman features a flute and a Scottish tang to it that is soothing and calming. The stories that are told span a decade of songwriting, yet I can’t find a track where he wings it in the performance or lyrics. It is ensured that you have a first-person perspective of the songs that have the most magnetic storylines.
Closing with straight lines, we have a visualizer of the eclectic taste that Only Child creates with his music. An accordion sound is heard, soft and muffled in the background. A phasing guitar is the accompaniment-as the vocals and lyrics create the world with new dimensions. This is an assortment, if boiled down, of what songwriting should look like. Take Dylan, Petty or Cash-they have always remained great storytellers. This is where Only Child revels-in a decade of some of the richest fables.
Celebrate with him by supporting his album on bandcamp: