Hi is the tenth studio album by Scottish alternative rock band Texas, released worldwide 28th May 2021 through BMG.
Background and recording
During promotion for the album, lead singer Sharleen Spiteri stated: "Our excitement at finding this treasure trove of songs collided with our excitement back then and, unplanned, new songs started coming, you could say we were inspired by ourselves!" Other songs on the album include "Dark Fire", written with Richard Hawley, and "Look What You've Done", a duet between Spiteri and Clare Grogan of Altered Images.
The record also features the ballad "Unbelievable". Speaking about the recording of the track, Spiteri said: "We don't usually do ballads, but this one really stuck. The words are very intimate and personal while the music sounds really epic."
Writing and inspiration
Several sonic elements are evident on Hi, including the "vintage R&B" track "Just Want to Be Liked", the country-inspired "Moonstar", "brawny guitar pop" on "Sound of My Voice" and "Italo-western decadence with a spicy hip-hop twist" on "Hi". "Mr. Haze" is a Motown-inspired track that samples and draws inspiration from Donna Summer's 1977 song "Love's Unkind".
The release and recording of Hi sees the band collaborate again with artists that have previously collaborated with the band, including singer-actress Clare Grogan on "Look What You've Done" and the Wu-Tang Clan and Ghostface Killah on "Hi".
Grogan's previously worked with McElhone when they shared time recording together during Grogan's time in the band Altered Images who were active from 1979 to 1983.
Previously, Texas had collaborated with the Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man and RZA in 1997 on the "All Day Every Day" remix of their gold-selling White on Blonde single "Say What You Want", as well as performing the track at the 1998 BRIT Awards.
User Album Review
It is always hard to tell whether heritage acts such as Texas, whose heyday came in the late 90s with the release of White on Blonde, are making music for fans, new listeners or themselves.
Hi suggests a casual greeting, a meeting between two friends who may have drifted apart, and that is what the album feels like: falling into an easy routine with an old friend. The band built it on the foundations of old songs that hadn’t made it on to White on Blonde, trading lines and themes with their selves of 24 years ago.
As a result, Hi has the airiness of the pop side of Britpop but doesn’t keep itself tethered to that sound. Baffling as the band’s collaboration with Method Man and RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan will forever be, I can’t help but enjoy the juxtaposition between the two.
“Moonstar” is a restrained hoedown, “Dark Fire” has languid notes of a 50s high school dance and though things tread water a bit as the album draws on, the real triumph is Sharleen Spiteri’s voice, which is smooth and deep, like a slo-mo hot chocolate ad. So, hi, Texas. Nice to see you again.
External Album Reviews