Relaunch II

1. Justice For One (Originally by John Farnham)
2. Love Is Blind (Originally by John O’Banion)
3. Counting Stars (Originally by One Republic)
4. Souls (Originally by Rick Springfield)
5. Don't Look Back (Brand new from Houston)
6. Cruise (Originally by Florida Georgia Line)
7. Do What You Wan (Originally by Lady Gaga)
8. Our Love (Brand new from Houston)
9. Downtown (Brand new from Houston)
10. Standing On The Moon (Brand new from Houston)

Hank Erix (Lead vocals)
Ricky Delin (Keyboards/vocals)
Soufian Ma'Aoui (Bass)
Calle Hammar (Guitars/vocals)
Victor Lundberg (Keyboards/vocals)
Oscar Lundström (Drums)

Houston (2010)
Relaunch (2011)
II (2013)

Victor Lundberg - vocals on 3
Lizette Von Panajott - vocals on 7

Produced by Ricky Delin

Released 2014-09-08
Reviewed 2014-08-07

cargo records

Houston - are we having a problem? This is their second relaunch in just four years, as the previous relaunch it features some covers. This time it may not be songs that inspires them the most considering that they have covered Lady BlaBla and some Florida Georgia Line crap. Sure John Farnam and other good things are there as well. They also offer us four of their own new songs and a pretty ugly looking cover artwork. Covers are always interesting, they can be good or poor, better or worse than the originals and always a terrific insight into the band that makes them. Thing is though that I think I know much about this band as they are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, I like their music but shouldn’t as a critic as they do not really give us anything but stereotypical westcoast/aor. The first relaunch didn’t really relaunch into a new style or anything but what about this one, their second relaunch?

Well, musically it is more of the same. Not even knowing about the covers and stuff I knew rapidly that it was a cover album as not even a swedish band called Houston can be as ridiculously redneck as the lyrics in the song Cruise, you have to be a real redneck for that. I had not heard the original song before but looked it up before reviewing this album and it sucked big time, and the video was terrible. I hope it is ironic but I doubt it considering how stupid those american rednecks can be, no one can honestly think anything positive about pickup trucks. Disregarding some silly choice of songs, the album is surprisingly coherent considering the difference in origin style of the cover songs. They blend well together with Houston’s own songs and before looking at the tracklist in the press sheet stating which band did which song in original it was difficult to pick up Houston’s own songs. As usual their production is great, the vocals are great, the choruses catchy, it is everything aor just as it usually is with these guys. I don’t think anyone who has heard them before, or know aor, will be the least bit surprised about how it sounds.

As ridiculous and creatively humdrum this album is, as brilliant is it to listen to. I love it. And I hate that I do. I should not like something as silly as this, but Houston pulls off a real feat here by giving us a brilliant album that staples great songs upon one another. Wow, is a word that can be used to describe it. Even that silly song Cruise is great in a Houstonised view. One can almost overlook the incredibly stupid lyrics and song content. Thing is though that Houston’s own songs take home the trophy as the best, which makes it even better for them considering that they only have four original compositions to brag about. And of course giving new life to songs that ought to be dead. Well done Houston, I would say that this is the best album they have done, so far. It isn’t any relaunch though, there is nothing new here, they have just done what they did before better than they have done before. I would say that they have to bring out a new artillery if they want to remain relevant in the future because even the good gets boring when repeated.

”Our love is a like window, its open when the wind blows - no more hiding in the shadows… etc” is the lyrics of the best song on the album. It makes me wonder - why not take a few seconds to write some lyrics that isn’t complete nonsense. But honestly this album is silly, but it is also brilliant. I think aforementioned song along with Cruise, Justice for One and Downtown are the highlights of this collection of musical highlights and lyrical low points. It is a ridiculous album, ridiculously good.



Label: Livewire/Cargo Records/Rock n Growl
Three similar bands: Foreigner/Journey/Van Halen
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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