Red Book

Studio Album by released in 2005
Red Book's tracklist:
036
Getaway
Can't Resist
What About Us
Cry
Sleep
Get Down Tonight
Nevermind
Bad Weather
Masterthief
Just Hold On
Red Book

Red Book review

Red Book, sixth studio album from Sharleen and company, features 12 new tracks

Texas was formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1986 by Johnny McElhone, a veteran of the Scottish rock circuit who had been a part of two groups, Hipsway and Altered Images. The group made their performing debut as a band in March 1988 at a local college in Glasgow. Texas took their name from the 1985 Wim Wenders film Paris, Texas for which Ry Cooder composed the soundtrack. Red Book, sixth studio album from Sharleen and company, features 12 new tracks. It represents over two years of work for the band, a time that has seen a variety of inspired recording sessions with a group of both new and old friends. Red Book is classic Texas and yet it is also something undeniably special and vibrant too. It's modern confident pop music as fronted and sung by Sharleen Spiteri. And it's an honest, independent breath of fresh air in the current scene. Texas represents music with a strong sense of melody and passion. New music committed to renewal and a healthy dose of reinvention.

The best album from Texas since White On Blonde

Red Book is being hailed as the best album from Texas since White On Blonde. It certainly marks an improvement on more recent efforts and further demonstrates Sharleen Spiteri's ability to stretch herself vocally. Stylistically, it also marks a progression given that it features writing and production collaborations with the likes of Brian Higgins and his acclaimed Xenomania team, Mike Hedges (Manic Street Preachers) and Dallas Austin (TLC, Sugababes). There's even a vocal collaboration between Sharleen and Paul Buchanan, of cult group The Blue Nile, which helps to turn Sleep into one of the album highlights – conjuring memories of Kylie and Nick Cave in contrasting styles (albeit a little less dark). Album highlights include the breezy Getaway, the hypnotic Bad Weather, and the edgy Just Hold On, which is melodic but slightly melancholy besides. What About Us sounds the most diverse on the album, more like recent Madonna, but the absolute standout has to be Cry, which drops in some vintage soul. Final song and title track, Red Book, ends the album on a real high note, showcasing Sharleen's vocals at their most expansive – breathy, earthy and distinctly Billie Holliday influenced. When put together with the teasing guitar riffs and electronic bleeps, it works wonders.

Return to form for the band, whose career has spanned over two decades

The beauty of Texas (besides Sharleen Spiteri) is their ability to produce memorable yet uncomplicated pop songs. There's no hidden agenda or underlying concept, just an unerring knack for delivering quality tunes with little or no fuss. Red Book is arguably the Scottish act's finest and most commercially sound album since White On Blonde, effortlessly covering a bewildering variety of pop bases. Blending elements of rock, soul and their signature synth-pop, the album is seen as a return to form for the band, whose career has spanned over two decades. Red Book is one of real strength and depth, focused on secret dreams, heady hopes and private desires. On the whole this is another strong album from Texas that places them at the top end of the pop spectrum.

(14.11.2005)
Rate review4.84
Total votes - 19


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