Label: Livewire/Cargo Records /Rock'n'Growl
Three similar bands:
Foreigner/Journey/Van Halen
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Glory
2. I’m Coming Home
3. Return My Heart
4. Talk To Me
5. Back To The Summer Of Love
6. 24 Hours
7. On The Radio
8. Losing
9. Just Friends
10. Believe

Hank Erix – Lead & Backing Vocals
Ricky Delin – Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Freddie Allen – Drums

Houston (2010)

Soufian Ma’aoui – Bass Guitar
Tommy Denander – Guitars
Calle Hammer – Guitars & Keyboards
Jay Cutter – Keyboard intro loop
Minnah Karlsson – Duet Vocal
Victor Lundberg – Backing vocals
Kristoffer Lagerstrom – Backing vocals
Geir Ronning – Backing vocals
Jessa Slatter – Backing vocals
Catharina Lindqvist – Spoken voice

Produced by Ricky Delin

Released 2013-09-02
Reviewed 2013-09-09


Houston, a city in the United States of America or the United Fat Gunslingers as the nation also can be called, lends its name to a Swedish AOR-band that is said to have struck like a bomb with their self titled debut. Now their are back with their second effort, three years after the debut. I guess that it is anticipated by some and this despite it having a title that probably no one spent any time thinking out, the album is simply called II. It has a cover artwork that just screams of the eighties, if that is any indication I guess you can imagine how this album sounds.

And it does sound like it was made in the eighties, it does not sound fresh or creative although the production sounds modern and very good. Keyboarder-/producer Delin is taking up space with his keys that are dominating the soundscapes of this ten tracks and 45 minute work. Excellent production, good vocals, brilliant keyboards but not so much variation, catchy and very melodic. It is a quality production, strong keys builds all the songs and as I alluded to earlier in the paragraph they heavily dominate the soundscape of Houston.

A good album with strong productions and all of that, it sounds very retro, eighties retro. No real complaints about the songs or the album as such, just that it doesn’t quite get me interested or excited as it is just another album from a band that thinks it was better in the eighties. It wasn’t. The music can be made better today, movies may lack imagination but at least they are better than what came in the eighties, living standards are better, life is better today than it was in the eighties and I see no point to try and return to what was popular then as these choices has already been made and they were better then than they are now. Also if you like that music, why not just listen to what was released then? Why do they copy instead of making something fresh and interesting? They do sound good so why wouldn’t they sound good with a more fresh perspective on AOR? I can’t see any reason for that.

But let us not be negative, it is still a good album. The opening keyboard melody is excellent, such a catchy and wonderful little tune but why isn’t the song called Glory as good? Best is the track which you can view the video of in this review that is called I’m Coming Home which is a cheesy AOR track when cheesy AOR is at its best. The album in all is also of a rather high quality but I think the album lacks those sing-along parts you just can’t resist that is a big part of the best albums in the genre. So I would conclude that I think this album is fairly good but it is slightly lacking in some area, which prevents it from being anything other than just another good AOR band which you will forget just as fast as you got to know them.

If you like retro rock and can’t have enough of clone AOR bands, then Houston has made another suitable album for you. Personally I think the apparent skill and melodic sense of this band could have been used in a much better way than it was on this album called II. And if you think I am negative to this album you are wrong, it is good, it is just not that brilliant from a reviewer’s point of view.



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