|UMA - Fare Well|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jason Karsh|
|Thursday, 02 October 1997|
Performance 5 Sound 6
Have you ever heard of the radio format 'Hot AC?' You may have not, but chances are there is at least one of these stations in your town. Think of artists like Natalie Merchant, Deep Blue Something, Sheryl Crow, etc. At any rate, as this format grabs listeners daily there is a greater push to find artists who can feed this need. This is where UMA is targeted to go. Here's the problem--we have enough bands that want to sound like REM. They're everywhere.
Here's another problem, if you think The Wallflowers get airplay because they're good rather than because Bob Dylan had a son whom a record company can turn into a sex symbol, you watch too much television. This said, UMA, with a style that desperately tries to cash in on this sound is missing out, both in genealogy and originality. But, wait, there's a twist.
For three or four of the
songs on 'Fare Well,' UMA ditches their male front man and passes the
singing on to Sally Dworsky. Suddenly it's like a different band. And
these are by far the most interesting moments of the album. Yes, at
times there are still the echoes of Lisa Loeb or the new 10,000
Maniacs, but the numbers featuring the female vocalist have
exponentially more depth, felling, and focus. We hope by the time UMA
returns to the studio they can discover this too. Perhaps they then
might fare better.