“Made by Hand” highlights the spiritual side of Las Vegas native Mark Huff’s songwriting skills. He isn’t a songwriter proselytizing for any point of view; instead, Huff’s songwriting emerges from a deep inner well and reflects his concerns rather than seeking to convert others to his cause. “Made by Hand” is released with a b side cut “Breaking Through” likewise slated for inclusion on Huff’s upcoming new album release and the two tracks make for an effective introduction to his pending release. A single listen to “Made by Hand” illustrates why Huff chose this track to lead the way.
Huff has a weathered but clear voice balancing well against a dramatic musical arrangement. The tempo has hard-hitting deliberateness – there’s an inexorably march-like quality to the song that dovetails well into Huff’s lyrics. He gets “Made by Hand” off to a strong start with its memorable opening line and the writing that follows builds on that emphatic opening with lean economy and natural, rather than forced, rhymes. There’s an enigmatic quality to Huff’s lyrical content as he leaves listeners to take what they like from his musings acknowledging, in the end, that what the song means for him may be very different.
The song has an easy transition from its verses into the chorus, but the refrain is the unquestionable dramatic high point for the track. It, however, once again demonstrates his tastefulness – there’s never any sense of overreaching and the escalated sound of those moments is befitting the song’s overall feel. “Made by Hand” has a basic music configuration of guitar, bass, drums, and piano, but the rough hewn six string flourishes and light touch of piano are the key sonic elements that complement his voice.
“Breaking Through” is a rocking uptempo rave up with a raucous guitar solo and a surprising smattering of synthesizer. It’s a defiant assertion of identity – Huff makes a strong case for who he is by declaring what he isn’t and does so without a hint of apology. It’s as it should be. I think this track makes an excellent “partner” with “Made by Hand”.The songwriting, musically and lyrically, is solid, but there are no poetic touches adorning this track – instead, it is assertive and direct.
Mark Huff makes the case that some things will never go out of style – sincere and thoughtful songwriting chief among them. This early harbinger of what awaits his fans on his new album should excite longtime followers and make new devotees of any newcomers to his artistry. Mark Huff ‘s songs “Made by Hand” and “Breaking Through” will linger in your memory long after their last notes.