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Ricks Road

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Album Review

Texas sound a bit like a countrified version of the Pretenders put through a car wash on Ricks Road, to the point where the music is so clean, one's mind just slips around and off of it. There's a squeaky-clean polish to "So Called Friend," a stab at southern twang that doesn't seem genuine...it's a sound best left in a studio and indicative of a band trying too hard to make a hit song. There are simply too many studio effects and fake sounding instruments throughout the album. One imagines the harmonica to be some sort of Casio creation. It's like listening to Cher doing a Dusty Springfield impersonation. "Fade Away" tries so hard to have an aggressive hook that it becomes quite awkward. "Listen to Me" is supposed to be uplifting, but it mostly stumbles around a light beat and strings that go nowhere. Still, it's one of the album's better moments, because it's somewhat restrained. It's not overbearing like most of the other songs. "So in Love With You" starts out quite promising, but devolves into an unbearable din when Sharleen Spiteri reaches for high notes that just won't materialize. "Tired of Being Alone" is quite good; first, because it's almost impossible to ruin an Al Green song, and second, because it's less glossy and more immediate sounding than the rest of the album. It's production is credited to Texas and Kenny MacDonald. The remainder of the album was produced by Paul Fox who seemingly twisted knobs to the point of exhaustion. The production is so overblown that it's reminiscent of a Meredith Brook album. From a lesser band, Ricks Road might be an interesting misstep, but from Texas, who have shown themselves to be capable of much more heartfelt artistic expression. It's an outright shame. Later releases would see a more organic, far more successful approach. The world didn't need another Cowboy Junkies, and, thankfully, Texas didn't continue down the bland path they paved with Ricks Road. The album is best left to fans collecting their entire back catalogue, as it's quite weak from start to finish. The album is a bumpy affair, and it's clearly the wrong route, as the band quickly substituted pop and hip-hop elements for the Southern phoniness displayed here. The album is just one or two decent songs above being classified as drivel. White on Blonde and The Hush are worlds beyond Ricks Road.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Taking their name from the Wim Wenders film Paris, Texas, the Scottish pop/rock band Texas recorded a series of multi-million-selling albums (Southside, White on Blonde, The Hush), as well as many hit singles...
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Ricks Road, Texas
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