Texas produces bland pop selections on The Hush

At least the latest album from the British band Texas has an attractive picture of the singer posing seductively on the album cover.

British bands have been producing some of the best and most distinctive sounds in the industry, but The Hush (Universal) offers only been-there-heard-that music. On the opening track, “In Our Lifetime,” you get a glimpse of what could be Britney Spears 10 years down the road. It’s a pure piece of the cheesy, bland pop that could have come from the late 80s.

Pop music from previous decades does not have to ruin an album. But it has to be good pop. And good pop has spark. It has energy. Unfortunately, Texas does not include any type of energy or emotion in its music.

As a result of this lack of energy, most of the songs on the album are bland three-minute pieces that come and go without you noticing. Texas has the ability to produce delicious music, but it fails to use its resources. The band has a secret weapon that, if used correctly, would blow away listeners.

Scottish singer Sharleen Spiteri is the key to Texas’s success. Take all the sex-appeal Madonna had in the 1980s, combine it with an amazing throaty voice and you get Spiteri. She is the seductive femme fatale in the pictures on the cover of The Hush. In the end, the album cover is more interesting than the music.

With all her strengths, Spiteri could add the needed flair to Texas’ music. Instead, she performs slow pop songs that would fit perfectly in with the mix of tired music played in the waiting rooms of dentists’ offices.

There are a few gems hidden among the clutter. On “Summer Son,” the driving disco beat perfectly fits Spiteri’s voice. It is one of the few songs that actually catches your ear and makes you listen. Although “Zero Zero” does not feature Spiteri, the piece is a neat two-minute instrumental that offers pleasant relief from the vocal tracks. “Saint” has a trip-hop feel to it.

In the end, however, two or three decent songs is not enough to salvage an otherwise flawed album. Even the good cover pictures can’t save The Hush from its doomed fate.

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