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Album: Keep Your Head (2007)
Artist: Mike Press
Label: self-released
Where available/price:
M-Theory in Mission Hills for $10. Online at
iTunes, CDBaby.com,
mikepress.com for $10.
Songs: 1) Teams 2) Short Supplies 3) Taboo 4) Barista 5) Smart Went Crazy 6) Tears of Goodbye (Wayward People's Hearts) 7) Hands of You 8) Katie Baton Rouge 9) Way of Knowing 10) Saturated 11) Keep Your Head 12) Treasure

Band: Mike Press (vocals, guitar, drums), Kyle Thompson (guitar, bass), Joe Amato (lap steel), Jeremy Curtis (bass), Billy Conway (drums), Steve Mayonee (guitar, mandolin), Jabe Beyer (vibraphone, electric piano)

Another sensitive coffeehouse whiner with the sensibility to bore your macchiato cold. Mike Press follows a long tradition of packaging wholly uninteresting tunes with a wimpy voice that registers between a tender longing like whispering through a locked door and the soft desperation of pleading with an ex lover. I can't think of a style of music paired with this type of voice that would be considered interesting because even sad songs need some power and pace. Mike has neither.

Twangy western background tunes, which Mike has incorporated, would serve as a solid launching pad, but the rhythm never gets out of second gear, and Mike's voice languishes in the slow meantime. Mike's redemption could've been well-written lyrics, but alas, in a four-song span (tracks 4 to 7) he sings about "waiting around" a "coffee shop" and includes a chorus so standard and innocuous, it holds no meaning; he repeats, "I wash my hands of you." The mind numbs.

Mike and band are competent musicians, keeping time professionally and hitting each note as intended, but beyond that there isn't much to listen to on this album.

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