Mike Uva, Where Have You Been

Mike Uva, Where Have You Been

On his second solo release, Where Have You Been, Cleveland, Ohio-based Mike Uva doesn’t stray too far from bands like The Go-Betweens and singer/songwriters like Ken Stringfellow (of the Posies) and Art Garfunkel. His songs work best when they are either jaunty, like the modern-day breakup ballads “Protective Touch” and the alluring “Dinosaur,” or light and airy, like the acoustic gems, “Quickening” and “Spaced,” hidden near the end of the record. Uva made a wise decision in selecting a female backup singer and then inviting her to take the lead on “Dinosaur” — her warm, breezy vocals bring to the song a focus that some of the other tracks on this record, like the narcoleptic “A Trophy to Bear” and the ethereal but weak “Fine Once We Start,” lack. I liked the instrumental intro track and would have enjoyed hearing more energetic material like that particular track. Overall, Uva is a seasoned performer who has appeared alongside bands like Cat Power, The Decemberists, and Clem Snide, and the album displays that. On the down side, mixer Don Depew (Guided By Voices) could have done Uva the favor of highlighting the vocals more on this record, at least enough for us to hear the lyrics.

(Collectible Escalators Records -- P.O. Box 19394, Cleveland, OH. 44119-0394; http://www.collectibleescalators.com/; Mike Uva -- http://www.myspace.com/mikeuva)

Review by . Review posted Monday, March 12th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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