Mike Cavanaugh – “Besides” Review

Boston’s own Mike Cavanaugh recently released his newest album, Besides, a collection of unreleased tracks as well as demos from his previous albums, Hold On and Lovely Lonely Place.  The 10-track LP will take listeners on a raw musical journey through Cavanaugh’s artistic process of crafting a heartfelt album.

The first half of the album consists of roughly-cut, unreleased tracks that serve as a tease for what the next possible Cavanaugh record could be. “Waiting For You” makes you listen closely to hear Cavanaugh’s breathy voice dance delicately around the notes of his piano.  “Look at You,” is another gem that consists of mainly piano and a touch of guitar.

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Demo tracks of well-known songs from previous works round out the album. “What You’re Doing To Me” is noticeably softer than the version on Hold On, as only the acoustic guitar guides the track with lilting vocals.  “Our Ambiance,” found on Lovely Lonely Place, is just as beautiful in its demo version as it is on the 2011 album.  It’s hard to choose a winner here, but do we really have to?
It’s a common question: which version is better, the demo or the fully-produced album cut?  Mike Cavanaugh gives listeners a chance to figure that out for themselves on Besides.  Cavanaugh has his local fan base in Boston and this album is good enough to gain more followers outside of Beantown.


  • a3978298883_2Mike Cavanaugh
  • Besides
  • Boston, MA
  • (Self-released)
  • “Rougher is sometimes better”
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