uffamoose — just hearing the name, you know you’re in for something unusual. Along with the unusual comes some superior storytelling, and more than a little fun.
1997’s “We’ve Been Had Again”(a pretty obvious play on the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”) has two of the most touchingly romantic songs I know of, and one that’s pure unadulterated fun.
“Wait”, the first single from the album, is about dancing. You’ve heard plenty of songs about dancing that start out like “Wait”:
move back just a little let me watch your hips sway hold me looser still throw me like I'm wet clay
Well, except that last part. As the dance progresses, we know we’re enjoying ourselves, but it keeps getting stranger and stranger. I suspect you’ve not often heard dancing described as
patterned prances secret glances of high strung tip toe fringe of a taut brown leather
before “Wait.” From the opening guitars, through Craig Elkins’ carefully unpolished vocals, back to the final splash of those guitars, it bounces and weaves around an intimate dance I hope you remember as well as I do.
“James” is the story of two young people who start out thinking that love is enough; James is going to change the world, she and James are going to make a difference; James
is bigger than life he sees things he knows things he is not like you and me
but when they grow up, James
still loves his music but he knows where his priorities lie He stepped on his dreams so many times and wore out the path he needed to take to find the life he thought would just happen to him like the changing of a season
and sometimes you know how he feels, trading his dreams for real life, and wondering where the dreams fit in, and if love really is enough. But she still loves him; still believes in him; I don’t think she cares if he changes the world or not.
Unusually melodic guitars (for Huffamoose, I mean) create a very 60s feeling that matches the lyrics perfectly. Oh; one other thing we’ve got in common: James is “never unhappy ’cause he never wears a watch.” You can’t argue with that logic.
More of those melodic guitars lead us into “I Want to Buy You a Ring.” The lyrics are assembled with a goofiness only possible from someone who’s addlepated from the overwhelming experience of falling in love.
It feels like nothing ever felt before It's a song and I wrote it about you I love you See? I told you I was good! But this is nothing like I thought it would be I'm scared all the time I'm afraid I'm gonna hurt you
What a sorry song What a stupid idea . . . I write the songs that make the whole world think about absolutely nothing. I believe (I don't believe, I don't think 'believe' is strong enough, it's band-wagon jargon)
but the chorus transcends the silliness of the rest of the lyrics:
I want to buy you a ring Maybe I'll make it myself Do you like rubies and diamonds and emeralds and gold and silver?
Even the 60s poptune backing vocals sound right at home, surrounded by the innocence of falling in love for the first time. I think that’s part of the appeal of “James” and “Buy You a Ring”; they both talk about love with a voice full of innocence and wonder.