Houston – Houston [2010]

Country Sweden          Style AOR

Rating 87/100

Band Members
Freddie Allen – Drums, Hampus Erix – Vocals, Lasse Falck bass, Mats Olausson – Keyboards, Ricky Delin – Additional keyboards,backing vocals, Tommy Denander – Guitars, Kristoffer Lagerstrom – Backing vocals, Helena Alsterhed – Lead vocals, Martin Fogelstrom – Guitars, Kristoffer Hogberg – Bass, Michel Santunione – Guitars, Fabes – Guitars, Thomas Vikstrom – Backing vocals, J Cutter – Additional keyboards, Johan Kronlund – Guitars, Krille Eriksson – Guitars

Tracks
01. Pride, 02. Truth Slips, 03. Hold On, 04. I’m Alive, 05. One Chance, 06. Give Me Back My Heart, 07. Misery, 08. She’s A Mystery, 09. Now, 10. 1000 Songs

PROFILE

This is the debut album by Swedish AOR project “Houston” the brain child of drummer Freddie Allen and lead singer Hampus Hank Erix. Despite being released in 2010, “Houston” caused quite a stir in melodic rock/AOR circles in mid 2009 when the first samples of their upcoming work were uploaded on their page. What characterizes “Houston” as musical personalities is vision. The musicians aim at recreating the old school AOR feeling of the early-mid 80s and that is exactly what they delivered. From the songwriting to the production, “Houston” gives new meaning to the term `old-school’ recapturing only the best elements that AOR had to offer in the 80s.

In terms of performance the singer and drummer totally deliver, wisely balancing melody and rhythm. All other instruments are performed by guest musicians, with considerable profile in the melodic rock world: Guitarist Tommy Denander, bassist Lasse Falck, and kay player Mats Olauson, to name a few; never forgetting vocal duets with Thomas Vikstrom and Helena Alsterhed.

Baring in mind that “Houston” is vintage-AOR the album is considerably guitar oriented, blending perfectly with keyboard presence throughout the ten songs on this debut. And what songs; I could not escape but share that `She’s a mystery’ is one of the most infectious songs I have heard in 2010. From there on it is amazing AOR track after track, “Truth slips”, “Pride”, “I’m alve”, “1000 Songs” all first class adult rockers. For any fan of AOR and melodic rock “Houston” should be a priority, and a perfect soundtrack for the Christmas holidays.

Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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Houston - Houston [2010], 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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