Chances are not too many of you will have heard of David Moon before. In many respects, the unassuming Southwest London singer-guitarist-songwriters debut album, Out of the Blue, is a summation of both the good and bad things that flow from todays ubiquitous self-release. Firstly, its an accomplished piece of work, nine carefully crafted original songs and a Paul Weller cover (You Do Something to Me), all quite impeccably sung, played, and arranged. Closely aided by producer/composer Mike Greenway, Moon writes songs on the cusp of being commercial enough for the mainstream, yet with the promise of lasting quality and depth.
Getting noticed, though, could be the potential downside. Moon must then take on the task of staying noticed, upscaling gigs, selling records in reasonable numbers, and even keeping spirits up if the aforementioned things do not come to pass, as they inevitably wont for so many similarly placed musicians. So, maybe we better get back to the good things. David Moons fingerpicked guitar work is quietly impressive, strongly rhythmic, and always engaging. His vocal is silky smooth throughout. He trades in crystal diction, with an English feel to counter the transatlantic leanings of much of his music. On songs like Falling for You and Jealousy, Moon is very much in James Taylor’s territory.
There are some decent songs here and a smattering of styles to please. The album gets off to a flying start with Can I Be Free. The rich bass and Baker Street sax break add to the classic feel of the song. Skimming Stones is an absolute delight, with shades of Yes in both the tune and the songs philosophical musings. The title track approaches the land of the radio-friendly with its soft vocal, swooping melody lines, and intricate breaks.
There is one blip: Going Through the Emotions feels a bit like a song youve heard before, a sort of Sting-meets-Craig David-again moment. If at times the record gets a bit earnest, heres a nice turn of phrase that Moon delivers: “Ive got a driving conviction that keeps me on the road,” he croons on the jazzy Reason. Perhaps it lacks a real standout, commercial track (the equivalent, say, of James Blunts Youre Beautiful), but Id gladly trade most of Blunts work for this record.
Essential Tracks: “Skimming Stones”, “Out of the Blue”