Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Texas - Mothers' Heaven (1991)


Released on 23 September 1991

Running time 47.36

This is Texas as I preferred them - bluesy and rocking in traditional fashion. No drum machines or contemporary stylings on here as would appear on later albums ("White On Blonde" and beyond). There are quite a lot of Delta Blues influences, with excellent slide guitar from Ally McErlaine, while singer Sharleen Spiteri's voice is deep, low in pitch and soulful. This is a proper rock album, and a really good one at that. I like it a lot.


1. Mothers Heaven
2. Why Believe In You
3. Dream Hotel
4. This Will All Be Mine
5. Beliefs
6. Alone With You
7. In My Heart
8. Waiting
9. Wrapped In Clothes Of Blue
10. Return
11. Walk The Dust                                         

“Mothers Heaven” is a big, crashing piece of blues-influenced rock, full of pounding drums, chunky riffs, funky clavinet and vibrant piano. Sharleen Spiteri’s vocal is strong enough to cope with the song’s power. “Why Believe In You” is influenced by U2’s dabbling in Americana with a bit of The Hothouse Flowers in there. The organ bits and the bluesy slide guitar are excellent, as is the brooding, shuffling beat. Check out that slide guitar solo half way through. The piano rocks throughout the song too, wonderfully well.

“Dream Hotel” is an evocative, slow burning and seductive number, with more of those Americana influences bubbling beneath the surfaces in the shape of subtle, jangling guitars. Once more, there is quite a bit of U2 floating around in this, and Deacon Blue.

“This Will All Be Mine” has a moody, Southern swamp blues intro and a mysterious, deep vocal. It is packed full of atmosphere. I am surprised that this album did not get more critical praise than it did. It slipped under the radar somewhat. "Beliefs" is a muscular piece of buzzy guitar rock, with a dark ambience and sonorous vocal. "Alone With You" is a chunky, gospel-influenced soul song, with big choruses and twangy slide guitar over a metronomic, robust drum beat. "In My Heart" has a huge, lusty drum sound and a rise in its pace to its chorus, very much in a U2 style. You could almost imagine Bono singing this over Larry Mullen's powerhouse drums. "Waiting" is a short song in a similar style that, unfortunately, ends before it gets going.

"Wrapped In Clothes Of Blue" is an atmospheric, slow burning number featuring some darkly grandiose guitar backing and a powerful vocal. "Return" is an excellent, slide guitar-driven shuffling blues. "Walk The Dust" is a low-key, sensual once more U2-ish closer. It surprisingly bursts into life half way through and ends this impressive album on a big anthemic note.


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