With his new album, Mark Huff may have Stars For Eyes, but the question is if the music that makes up this latest LP will leave our ears feeling just as cosmic. While criticizing music as a whole, like all art forms, is an exercise in subjectivity, there are a few signs that tell us invariably that Huff knows what he is doing with the album. Mostly, it comes from the production. Handled by Grammy-winner Chad Brown, Huff’s music reaches a whole other echelon of listenability here, with crisp, effulgent sound winning the day. Otherwise, it’s in the hands of his ability to write and perform equally-as-winning songs, which this humble writer would say he does in a cinch.
From Muddy Waters to the Doors, Huff has had a bevy of influences since growing up in Las Vegas in the early years that one would feel remiss not to put two and two together between the music that’s made him and the music that he’s making today. A spacey, alternative-influenced blend of rock, folk, and blues, Stars For Eyes is a hefty slice of Americana that tastes as new as it does delectable. This much is evident at the forefront, with opener ‘Prison Door’ feeling like anything but a punishment with its enticing bass synthesizer and jangly, guitar-driven melodies helping him inhabit that strange place between Dylan and Pink Floyd in style.
It’s a gripping album that begs your ear from the start with its earworm melodies before keeping you there to be captivated by Huff’s continuous ability to impress as a storyteller and frontman alike. Other highlights on Stars For Eyes include the starry-eyed (you’re welcome) ‘Carolina Blue’, the psychedelic and swaying ‘Heart Beating Without You’, and the ominous, darkly tones pervading album closer ‘Almost Like the Blues’. There’s a broad stroke of amalgamated influences that Huff has mashed together in an astoundingly graceful manner here for his latest album, and in Stars For Eyes, it genuinely feels like there’s something here for everyone—or, at the very least, every reader here on For Folk’s Sake.