Mark Huff

Exodus, 2007

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Mark Huff honed his musical skills as a long-term resident of Las Vegas. He quickly became accomplished enough to be the opening act for such diverse artists as Chris Issak, Al Green, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Smithereens, Willie Nelson and even Bob Dylan, which makes the most sense out of all those acts.

Gravity is Mark Huff’s third independent release and is a showcase for his strong songwriting and lyrics. His words show a maturity and sophistication usually not found on the independent circuit or music in general, these days. Huff writes about the common aspects of life and does so in an interesting and poetic way. His accompanying gruff vocals, however, take some getting used to.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Gravity does have a few issues that keep it from becoming a classic. First, the mix on the instruments is off. The drums are too loud and take away from the other aspects of the music, becoming a distraction after a while. Second, at times the lyrics don’t seem to match the music. When Huff goes in a rock direction there seems to be disjointedness present, as if he tried to make the songs more meaningful by just adding noise. Playing them on just an acoustic guitar would have accomplished the task. And third, some of the songs tend to run together, especially the opening four.

Having said all of that, Gravity is still a decent album. There are no terrible misses and a few standouts. “Talkin’ Insomnia Blues” is a love song with understated vocals which seem to serve Huff well. Also, the backing instruments are minimal with little or no percussion, yet the song breaks free from the typical acoustic singer/songwriter mold. “Sleeping Away” has an unusual and interesting sort of staccato beat. Spoken vocals again put the accent on the lyrical story where it belongs. “Wrong Or Right” is more acoustic and turns the percussion down and is another highlight.

Mark Huff is still a work in progress. He will, however, always have an advantage in that he can always tell his own stories and create his own songs and do so in a way that speaks to the listener. Hopefull,y Gravity is a step forward for Huff’s musical evolution. As long as he concentrates on his strength -- lyrics -- everything else will follow.

Rating: B

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© 2007 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Exodus, and is used for informational purposes only.