Where Have You Been
Collectible Escalators is home to only a few artists, including one of my favorites, Machine Go Boom. On that band’s latest effort, Uva plays guitar on several of the tracks. Thus, when I received this album, I was hoping for that playful Clash-esque rock that makes Machine Go Boom so fun. Instead, I was lulled to sleep.
Where Have You Been is barely thirty minutes long, but it is so light and airy that it’s almost as if no music is being played at all. All but two of the tracks are barely discernible; by the time I realized that the album was done, it’d been over an hour. On the opener, “Stuck in My Head,” Uva utilizes Joe Milan’s accordion to add a little depth to the pluck and sing that would have made this song, like the majority of the others, quite boring. The best song on the album is “Dinosaurs,” which has Courtney Christenson’s beautifully reserved vocals leading Uva’s steady pop beat. It is the only time that the album actually engages the listener. “This is Real” is the fastest song on the album, and it’s just enough to get me interested… until the next song, “Come Heavy Sleep,” which is what happened after the two and half minutes it took to get through that song.
The main problem with Where Have You Been is that Uva’s voice is not one that commands attention. His vocals fall easily into the music. But the music is nothing spectacular. It’s very similar to Howie Day or Ryan Adams or hundreds of other singer/songwriters. But Day and Adams can actually lead the songs with their voices. Because Uva’s voice is so quiet, it is hard enough just to understand the words much less pay attention to them. Where Have You Been is enough to make some noise, but not enough to become noticeable.
Mike Uva: www.mikeuva.com