It is, quite rightly, said that the best whisky is matured awhile to allow its character to properly develop and the same might well be said of Alistair Ogilvie as his second album “July Moon” positively reeks of character.
Don’t get me wrong. Much of the music here is entirely conventional in both in concept and execution and would not raise an eyebrow if it were not for the eloquence of Alistair Ogilvy’s performance. A song or two might creep by you before that realisation hits you but hit you it will and, although the pacing of this album runs deliberately towards slow, there is never, or ever, going to be a loss of traction.
It helps too that there are additional musical muscles being brought into play. The elegant string arrangement of “Deep Blue Sea”, for example, takes the song through the clouds into the ethereal and, within the four square boundaries of “You’re Leaving”, Siobhan Wilson provides an entrancingly winsome counterpoint to our Mr. Ogilvy’s intensity. Kudos are duly due as well to the sensitive production of Admiral Fallow’s Louis Abbott who, on the evidence presented here, is a kindred soul.
The songs have a consistent strength with both “My Heart Aches” and “Aloft The Trees” being what a modern folk song should be but so rarely are. I’m not normally drawn to melancholy but this time around I felt the need to reach out and touch those shadows while the best song on the album, in my less than humble opinion, is undoubtedly “Clasping Sea”. Downbeat but dignified, this is a song that, in simple terms, burns with passion.
“July Moon” is an album that will appeal equally to bedsit romantics and folk venerables and even the most cynical amongst you, who might even consider Alistair Ogilvy a skilled manipulator of musical tastes in search of the broadest possible appeal, will have to admit that he has real and actual talent. Let your own ears decide, of course, but I think you will agree that Alistair Ogilvy has scored a bullseye with this one.