Serious Child – Empty Nest

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 3/5

A fiftieth birthday present place on a five day song writing workshop with Boo Hewerdine, led to Alan Young being persuaded by Boo to record an album that he would produce. From that birthday present and chance meeting came Serious Child the trio of Alan, Carla March on vocals and Steve Welsh on bass and Empty Nest the album. As well as the flair for song writing that captivated Boo Hewerdine, Alan is also a fine vocalist. Smooth velvet like Chris Isaac on “Blue is only a Colour” or worldly like Grant Philips on “Paul the Bag” and “I Don’t Remember Venice”. He makes lyrics flow conversationally and naturally, telling real stories. The mother whose child is leaving home or the aging gangster clinging to the idea of his youth, real people populate these songs. The bright intelligent pop rock sound of tracks like “Time Keeps Rolling” sounds a lot like Boo Hewerdine himself. I say that as a Boo fan, there are the same intelligent interesting arrangements and lyrics, suggesting a real meeting of minds with the sound and production. Alan duets with Tanya Brittain, another strong vocalist on “Kind Man’s Bluff”, the thoughtful and sharp lyric is a collaboration between Alan and Tanya. Tanya’s accordion playing also adds still more considerable colour to a number of the tracks, adding that cosmopolitan folk pop sparkle and sophistication you get with Eddi Reader. Alan and Boo’s guitars and a ‘world in action’ styled 70s organ add some rock glimmer and edge to tracks like “No Missed Calls” another excellent song on a strong album. There is a rock n roll or new wave tightness, like early raw Dire Straits on “Speeding” that is refreshing, the sound of a band playing together. Here’s to chance meetings, late bloomers and living dreams when they lead to albums like this. Recommended listening and top down driving music.