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Reviews 31/10/2003

Album Of The Week: Texas

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Gillingham, Kent, UK (By Mikey) - Each week I preview an album which I think deserves a listen to and if it's worth to buy, I will cater for all tastes of music from R'n'B to Rock, Hip hop and Pop. At the end of the page, you will find all future album releases. With xmas round the corner not many artists are releasing new material after December 1st, new album releases will resume at the end of January 2004.

Texas - Careful What You Wish For
Release Date: 20 October, 2003

After a four-year break Sharleen Spiteri and her band, Texas are back. Back with an album chock-full of gorgeous hooks and future radio anthems, an album made in a dream pop universe with key recording studios in London, Liverpool, Toronto, New York and, crucially, Glasgow. Texas have made a record that could only have emerged in 2003. It's called 'Careful What You Wish For'.

Featuring collaborations with underground West London dancehall crew Suncycle, uber pop producer Trevor Horn, Liverpool studio legend Kingbird, cult drum and bass obsessive ceri 'Sunship' Evans, the songwriter's songwriter Guy Chambers and the renowned 'Madonna Mixer' Spike Stent, 'Careful What You Wish For' is Texas' most diverse and ambitious album to date. It is the record that was brewing while their 'Greatest Hits' collection cruised to five million worldwide sales, while a hot, new guitarist was broken into the band and quickly taught the difference between the mighty machine sounds of Lenky and Just Blaze. Includes the single 'Carnival Girl'. and the next intended single 'I'll See It Through'

You have to cast your mind awfully far back to remember when Sharleen Spiteri didn't look damned fabulous. Basically, since Texas' career-rescuing 1997 smash album 'White On Blonde', she's been a walking advertisement for great haircuts, fantastic photographers and flawless stylists. And at its best, the music the look has been wrapped around has been just as note-perfectly poised. Just as few women could honestly claim they didn't want to be able to look like Sharleen at will, it's hard to imagine that any band who ever dreamed of hooks wouldn't want to have conjured up the Motown-pastiche-in-heaven that was 'Black Eyed Boy'.

Consequently, confronted with the strangely unsatisfying experience that is 'Careful What You Wish For' - another fabulous cover shot of Sharleen, another set of confident mainstream pop songs with nothing wrong with them - you may find yourself hunting hard to identify the source of the malaise. So, okay: the well-rendered modish New Wave-isms of an unsexy but stylish 'Telephone X' (Costello's 'Watching The Detectives' via Blondie) and the charismatic propulsion of 'Broken' (unarguably Debbie Harry again) may be a tad obvious.

And then there's Kardinal Offishall's contributions to first single 'Carnival Girl', which, set amid the fragrant serenity of Spiteri trilling 'push it now, push it now', sound as though his saucy chatter were floating up from the streets of Ladbroke Grove into a showpiece flat far out of range of sweat, suggestion or dishevelled sofas.

But it's a fruitless task trying to argue that 'Careful...' is full of lacklustre makeweights: 'And I Dream' has the kind of melody and sumptuously smudgeless production that makes A&R men beam and say: "We've got a winner here". Being able to magic up the Bacharach-lilting 'See It Through', co-written by Guy Chambers, who has previously written for Robbie Williams, would allow most pure-pop-archivist critical favourites (Saint Etienne, Belle And Sebastian, Costello, take your pick) to die happy, and the piano-driven Tamla-isms of the title track - again, you're reminded of the alchemical 'Black Eyed Boy' - are pure magic.

All in all this is a great album, since their last 'Greatest Hits' release. There are loads of good tracks for potential single releases; 'Telephone X' and my personal favourite will have to be 'Under Your Skin'.
It gets top marks for me, well nearly.

1 Telephone X
2 Broken
3 Carnival Girl
4 I'll See It Through
5 Where Did You Sleep?
6 And I Dream
7 Careful What You Wish For
8 Big Sleep
9 Under Your Skin
10 Carousel Dub
11 Place In My World
12 Another Day

Album Release Schedule

November 3
Blue - Guilty
Bon Jovi - This Left Feels Right
Liberty X - Being Somebody
Primal Scream - Dirty Hits
LeAnn Rimes - The Very Best Of
David Sneddon - Seven Years, Ten Weeks
Underworld - Anthology: 1992-2002

November 10
Atomic Kitten - Ladies' Night
Coldplay - Coldplay Live 2003
Mark Owen - In Your Own Time
Pink - Try This
Holly Valance - State Of Mind
Various Artists - Capital Gold Rock & Roll Legends

November 17
Blazin' Squad - Now Or Never
Busted - A Present For Everyone
Michael Jackson - Ones
Ronan Keating - Turn It Up
Kylie Minogue - Body Language
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits
Cliff Richard - Cliff At Christmas
Britney Spears - In The Zone
Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music! 56

November 24
Nelly Furtado - Folklore
Enrique Iglesias - Seven
Javine - Surrender
Lemar - Dedicated
Alex Parks - Introduction To Me
Pet Shop Boys - PopArt (1985-2003)
Westlife - Turn Around

December 1
Alicia Keys - The Diary Of Alicia Keys
Will Young - Friday's Child

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