The Search is the debut album from Bronx singer/songwriter Mike Acerbo. After starting to record in 2001, Acerbo was sidelined for roughly six years battling substance abuse. After sobering up, his renewed clarity and perspective fueled the effort to complete his fairytale work, The Search.

The disc opens up with the somber guitar and Acerbo’s beautiful voice in “Trilby.” There’s a lot going on right from the start, ranging from acoustic and electric guitars to country fiddle, from a piano diddle to blaring trumpets. It picks up very quickly after its melancholy opening and plants great expectations for the album.

That hope, however, is quickly drained with the second track, “Blueberry Moon.” The whole thing is a little too happy, which usually isn’t bad, but Acerbo takes it to another level. Instrumentally it’s joyous and playful, but the lyrics leave something to be desired. He discusses dancing with his lover under “blueberry skies” with horses and such. The only thing missing was a cameo appearance from the Lollipop Guild.

On the other end of the spectrum are the dark and dreary, yet emotionally stirring title-track and “Robbie.” “The Search” details the hero’s quest for himself, painting images of forests and journeys with the flute and cello. “Robbie” is a track very personal to Acerbo, as remembrance of the life and tragic death of his childhood friend—probably the most passionate track on the album.

Following the “Blueberry Moon” hiccup, the rest of the disc is pretty strong. “The Night Light” closes out the story well with the hero discussing whether or not he’ll complete his journey. Although the hero’s journey ends with the song, whether Acerbo’s is over remains to be seen.

In A Word: Vivid

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