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Houston - IV

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 24 December 2021, 9:26 AM

When dealing with AOR, one must make sure to have a clear idea in mind: it’s not only a musical genre, but a whole musical universe, filled with the most different expressions one can think of. There are bands with a melodic and accessible approach that are extremely near to Pop Rock, others that are into a Hard/Glam trend, and so on. And the work of the Swedish quintet HOUSTON, shown on “IV” is here to show the differences.

They’re in a form that’s extremely accessible, near Pop Rock, in a way similar to FOREIGNER, TOTO, SURVIVOR and BOSTON. It means that the work of the quintet is based on massive use of keyboards, very good and accessible melodies, catchy choruses and with an appeal that was usual on the years between the end of the 70’s and the middle of the 80’s. But don’t get the wrong idea: their music is not a copy or has an ‘outdated’ feeling. It’s alive and really filled with that melodic and catchy energy that the fans of the genre are used to love. The sonority of the album was conceived to be clean and defined, in a way that AOR need to be. But of course things are in a way that makes their music sounds alive and fresh due the modern technology on the recordings. So it allows the fans to have the best of their work.

The band’s music is really very good, and one will have the clear idea of what they’re up to when hearing to songs as “She is the Night” (very good and accessible melodies, and it’s based mainly on very good keyboards’ arrangements), “You’re Still the Woman” and “Hero” (both show a fine set of guitars’ arrangements, and charming choruses), “Heartbreaker” (a solid work on bass guitar and drums allows their melodies to flow in a very good way), “Until the Morning Comes” (very good vocals and backing vocals), and “Such is Love” (that amazing and charming melody of the genre is presented here).

HOUSTON is really a very good name, and can earn a great commercial success with “IV”. And let’s hope it’ll become true, because they deserve it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. She is the Night
2. You’re Still the Woman
3. Hero
4. A Lifetime in a Moment
5. Heartbreaker
6. Storyteller
7. Heart of a Warrior
8. Until the Morning Comes
9. I Will Not Give in to Despair
10. Such is Love
11. Into Thin Air
Hank Erix - Vocals
Carl Hammar - Guitars
Soufian Ma’Aoui - Bass
Richard Hamilton - Keyboards
Oscar Lundström - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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