On "Best Kept Secret," Janovitz contrasts a familiar country shuffle with a series of bleak images, including deserted classic cars and vacant property. As the piano twinkles in the upper registers and the pedal steel guitar adds its tones underneath, Janovitz uses the chorus to celebrate the odd beauty of abandoned things. Similarly, the sparkling album closer, "Long Island," tells the tale of a kid's struggle over whether to leave the familiar confines of his suburban existence. Janovitz tells the tale with a kind of hopefulness that makes lyrics like "Long Island/Let others berate you as I stand idle" sound sincere. Only "Like You Do" and "Light in December" -- songs on which he deserts his usual vocal style and opts for sappier fare -- fall flat. However, Up Here is, on the whole, a worthy series of short stories and confessionals, crafted by a man with a knack for engaging pop songs.