Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Everything always seems to come out in the wash, when it's people involved. There's no denying or hiding anything. The bad apples and the good ones are evident soon enough as there's only hiding intentions and desires for so long. Chicago soul band JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound seem to be here, for the sole reason of reminding men that they're usually full of shit, reminding women that they're usually full of shit and everyone that they should just cut through all of the bull and take it for what it is. The games of charades can last for quite a while, but the tears in the seams are going to keep getting bigger and bigger, losing stitches here and there until there's nothing holding any of it together and everyone's just splayed bare, junk and all, blushing or not. People can't help but get in their own ways, tripping and fudging everything up until there's nothing left to do but to throw up a white flag and just admit that they're mostly lousy at the game, even when the effort is strong. The people in these songs aren't bad people. They're just doing what they're feeling. The orchestrations that they go through are those based on the feelings that are never easy to control or adjust.
The eyes and the hands always tend to WANT to wander and, yet, most people are able to stifle those urges. Some men and just as many women cannot shit those feelings down. These are the people that Brooks and his band identify the most with. They're just being honest. They're what they are and they refuse to apologize too much for it. They're at the mercy of their tendencies. So be it. The man in "Bad News" knows exactly who he is. He thumps with a blood that makes him know his liabilities and his limitations and, still, he's anxious to overstep them and just see what happens. He tells the woman he's with not to expect too much from him, to not think that she just hit the jackpot and has herself one of those atypical men that she's been looking for all these years, through the heartache and burn. He's great and all, but he's mostly like the batch she's been through and been hurt by. He sings, "I'm not the good man that you say I am/But I'm good enough to say goodbye." By being frank, he thinks he's doing her a favor.
The Uptown Sound is full of manly sultriness. It's confident and sentimental too. It helps to bemoan the idea that people are breakable, so anxious to fall and just see what might happen - should the ground catch up with them or should they remain suspended in mid-air. There's a fight there that has to be had, if the goodness is going to get pulled out. Brooks sings that, "it's not the way you claw and you break," and he seems to be suggesting that it's what happens when everything's out on the table that constitutes the good stuff. Those are the good fires, the ones that - when stoked - don't bite back as much.
JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound Official Site