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Houston - III

by Tina Webber at 01 February 2018, 9:38 AM

HOUSTON, a behemoth in the AOR Melodic Rock world recently released their 5th album but their 3rd self titled album, conveniently called “III” on November 24th 2017. HOUSTON has been around since 2010, and they aren’t backing down now. If anything, they are just getting warmed up. The more you listen to AOR melodic rock, the more you can easily distinguish the formula. Easy listening, catchy choruses, harmonic riffs, lively guitar solos–basically sweet, delicious ear candy and HOUSTON does a great job of delivering all those elements in this album with quality. Now let’s get to the breakdown of it all.

The album starts with “Cold As Ice”  at first glimpse is an upbeat tune and then that “formula” I mentioned about takes control with jabs of high pitched guitar. “Everlasting” has a more of a pop/rock approach. “Dangerous Love” is a little more complex with groove and contrasts in the riffs but still keeping that pop vibe—maybe a little too much pop and sugar.  “Lights Out” is the album’s ballad, which is filled with emotion and accompanied by a piano and synthesizers. Followed by “Lights Out” is “Amazing” that delivers a catchy 80's like rhythm that would be a contender for my favorite track on this album. The lyrics can use a little more spruce though.

The second part of the album starts with the progressive ballad “To Be You” which has a darker, ominous tone to it. “Road to Ruin” delivers that late 80s rhythm and the album ends with “Interstate Life” filled with texture and that West Coast vibe! Overall, it is a good album. I do feel that this album was more on the softer side of things, and could use a little more variation. It has tons of great melodies and atmosphere, but the production falls a wee bit short.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

1. Cold As Ice
2. Everlasting
3. Dangerous Love
4. Lights Out
5. Amazing
6. To Be You
7. Glass Houses
8. Twelve-Step
9. Road To Ruin
10. Interstate Life
Hank Erix - Lead Vocals
Soufian Ma'Aoui - Bass
Calle Hammar - Guitars/Backing Vocals
Victor Lundberg - Keyboards/Backing Vocals
Oscar Lundström – Drums
Record Label: LiveWire/Cargo Records UK


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