URBAN GRAY; "Look for Me" (Urban Gray) ***

Local folk/rock group Urban Gray does things its own way.

Before the band gained a major fan base, it went into the studio to record a debut album, "Look for Me."

Sure, the band has played gigs at the Avenues Fair and the Salt Lake City Library, but it shied away from heavy club gigs. And that's OK. Because there were more important things to do — like this album.

"Look for Me" is great introduction for band members Jeff Child, guitarist/vocalist, drummer Scott Kirkham, his brother Tyler Kirkham on lead guitar and bassist Derek Aguirre.

The 14-song CD, which is available at all Graywhale stores, Big E's in Bountiful and online at www.cdbaby.com, was recorded at Boho Digitalia and features guest keyboardist Scott Johnson. Sometimes whimsical and sometimes poignant, the songs are easy on the ears and nicely balanced when it comes to production.

"As I Look Back Over It Now" opens the album with its jam-band style, and the contemplative "Lonely Road" is one of the emotional standouts. The dreamy, swing beat of "Song to a Stranger" and the sunburst chords of "I Get By (Learn to Smile Again)" are other highlights.

There are times, however, when some of the songs begin to sound alike, thus making the recording feel a bit long. But this is the band's first album. And it has the potential to tighten things up.

It will be interesting to hear what's in store for the sophomore album.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com