Mike Petkau | Don't Say A Word

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Rock: College Rock Pop: New Romantic Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Don't Say A Word

by Mike Petkau

Jangling guitars, fuzzed out vintage synths and a unique, brawny voice define one of Canada's most exciting new songsmiths.
Genre: Rock: College Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Claim These Streets
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2:38 $0.99
2. B People (Fake It)
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2:40 $0.99
3. Lipstick Vinegar
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3:54 $0.99
4. Winter Waits
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3:56 $0.99
5. C'mon
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3:06 $0.99
6. Patch Me In
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3:04 $0.99
7. Dinosaur
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6:49 $0.99
8. Arkansas
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3:59 $0.99
9. Thin
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6:30 $0.99
10. Dead Men Dancing
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3:43 $0.99
11. The Girl With A Great Idea
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4:33 $0.99
12. Winter Waits (Reprise)
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3:25 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Petkau is standing next in line to wave Winnipeg's flag as a hotbed for literate and crafty DIY songwriters. This hard-touring songsmith is blurring the lines between bitter and sweet, balls-out indie rock and heartfelt laments.

Poetry is poison.

"Don't Say A Word" finds our boy championing a quick and cutting anthem only to turn it on its head with a morose soundscape. His broad shoulders matched only by his voice, Petkau is cutting a direct line to your heart.

The feelings are getting fuzzy.

How many broken relationships fall between the lines of a conversation that no one wants to have? How many times are we betrayed by another's lack of confidence, by our city's spinelessness, by our lover's indifference? Like images, the true meaning of words is ultimately found in the negative-space. In what wasn't said.

Don't say a word.


to write a review

The Uniter

There's a bear in the bar...
"There's a bear in the bar . . . with legitimate authority, Mike Petkau is a genuine songwriter with a powerful sound.

Mike Petkau's sophomore release Don't Say A Word is an apt collection of prairie rock songs. His low voice carries the tunes well, with structured and melodic rock songs. Lyrically, the songs are about functioning in a community of people, figuring out what to say and how to say it. There are lots of layers to the songs: they are textured with low, crunchy keyboards and even Rentals-style moog... other songs like Dinosaur remind me of early Rheostatics."

Stylus Magazine

Winnipeg's strongest songwriters...
"Mike Petkau has earned quite a reputation as one of the strongest songwriters in Winnipeg. His latest, Don't Say A Word, only serves to bolster that reputation. In a scene so rich in talent, what sets Petkau apart is his delivery of the material. He doesn't beat you over the head with an overly heavy message, nor serve up sugary empty calories...he has a unique timbre to his voice, its soft yet not too soft, reassurring yet not pleading, emotive yet not melodramatic."

Winnipeg Free Press

Discernible targets
"Local singer-songwriter and prolific producer Mike Petkau returns with another semi-confessional indie-rock platter, this time focusing his lyrics at more discernible targets, like an unattainable object of affection in C'mon or a well-known Toronto rock band in B People. Petkau is earnest, but also self-effacing, and that makes him easy to digest."


Artistic growth
"The follow-up to 2002's Parapet, Don't Say A Word see's Mike Petkau growing as a musician and producer. Petkau is a singer/songwriter first and foremost, but his talents behind the boards mean these songs are coloured as much by loops and subtle effects as by the singer's big voice. Songs such as I Claim These Streets and B People show depth and character, and Lipstick Vinegar introduces the delicate vocals of Meagan Peasgood as a moving counterpoint. A Korg MS2000 and Farfisa organ are featured on C'mon, an uptempo tune that allows Petkau to showcase what is developing into a signature vocal style. Don't Say A Word is a great album that remains true to singer/songwriter traditions without sounding like any number of 'dude-with-guitar' projects. Pick it up."

SEE Magazine

Rock teddy bear
"Sounding like the midway point between the early days of Elvis Costello and the sweeping sounds of The Cure and The Catherine Wheel, Mike Petkau is a Winnipeg-based rock teddy bear with a booming, bass-y voice. His new album, Don't Say A Word is a slight departure from the acoustic folk and rock bits he has released haphazardly over the past few years... a solid rocker that would make Costello and Co. proud."

Ottawa XPress

Emotional tug of war
"Petkau -first name Mike- strikes the balance between hair trigger rage and earnest romanticism on his sophomore effort Don't Say A Word, as he copes with a suffocating world of soft smiles, bitter truths and "long walks home." Petkau, who sings with a detached cynicism that lends a faintly sinister edge to the proceedings, wears his disillusionment like a badge of honour. And his strident, emotional tug of war rock songs are all the better for it. Liberally sprinkled with wiry synths, the 12-track set is brash, bracing and occasionally melancholy to the point of hopelessness (check out the woeful duet "Winter Waits", beautifully fleshed out by vocalist Meagan Peasgood). Don't Say a Word sounds like the kind of record Bob Mould has been trying to make since Copper Blue."

Winnipeg Sun

"STYLE: Pop-rock songcraft that balances art, heart and smarts."
"SUBSTANCE: It's one thing to make a disc that sounds exceptional. It's quite another to make a disc that is exceptional. As a veteran recording engineer and producer, Mike Petkau certainly has no problem achieving the former. His solid second release Don't Say a Word confirms he can pull off the latter too. These dozen cuts of sharp singer-songwriter pop-rock are amply and artfully decorated with fat-free arrangements and ear-catching sonic manipulations -- but the knob-twiddling never overshadows the bittersweet melodies and earnest emotions at the heart of the matter. Meanwhile, Petkau's gruff, unvarnished vocals and chunky guitars give the whole affair an earthy, folky richness that adds even more power to his musical arsenal. So take Mike's advice -- shut up and listen."
"STANDOUTS: The smoky, rising tension of I Claim These Streets gets the disc off on the right foot. The off-kilter rocker Patch Me In makes a fine centrepiece. And the icy classical strains of Winter Waits send you off in high style."