Album: Texas

Careful What You Wish for, Mercury
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The Independent Culture

Though just as diverse and eclectic as their previous albums, Careful What You Wish for has little of the sleek blue-eyed soul that Texas perfected on White on Blonde and The Hush. The closest they come here is probably "Careful What You Wish For", where the rolling piano and handclaps are less subtle than might be expected. Instead, they seem to be pursuing a rather less fruitful interest in Seventies/ Eighties MOR pop kitsch, with "Broken" sounding like Abba attempting reggae, "Telephone X" a glam stomp-rocker about telephone sex, and Sharleen Spiteri's voice recalling Karen Carpenter's unsullied purity on both "I'll See It Through" and "A Place in My World" - albeit, on the latter, it's Karen Carpenter as an Eighties dance diva, accompanied by rapper Dolamite from Suncycle. The best of their retro-styled performances here is "Under Your Skin", probably because its Blondie-esque power-pop mannerisms so clearly resemble those of Johnny McElhone's previous group, Altered Images. Others are less successful: the gilded electro-pop sheen of "And I Dream" has the requisite steely sensuality of Madonna, and is just as hollow, while "The Big Sleep", with its earnest acoustic guitar and harmonica, merely serves to affirm what little aptitude the band has for rootsier folk and country modes. A patchy and unsatisfying album, lacking both cohesion and persuasive material.