Personnel: Sharleen Spiteri (vocals, guitar); Leon Michels (guitar, tenor saxophone, keyboards); Vincent John (guitar, keyboards); Tony Mcgovern, Ally McErlaine, Luke O'Malley, Barrie Cadogan, Thomas Brenneck (guitar); Mike Buckley (baritone saxophone); Dave Guy (trumpet); Ray Mason (trombone); Eddie Campbell , Michael Bannister (keyboards); Johnny McElhone (bass guitar); Nick Movshen, Homer Steinweiss (drums); Ross McFarlane (percussion); Lenesha Randolph, Alecia Chakour (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Collin Dupuis.
Recording information: The Diamond Mine, Queens, NYC.
From a certain angle, Texas could be seen as proto-Amy Winehouse. In 1997, a full seven years before Winehouse's debut Frank, Texas reinvented themselves as a blue-eyed soul group via their fourth album, White on Blonde. Buoyed by the hits "Say What You Want" and "Black Eyed Boy" -- the former sultry, the latter bouncing along like Motown -- the album was a smash throughout Europe, arguably opening the door for Winehouse and later Adele to walk through, but Texas never saw the same level of prominence, particularly in the U.S. Maybe that's why they've decided to celebrate their quarter-century anniversary by reworking a substantial chunk of their catalog with the Truth & Soul collective, who supported both Amy and Adele on various recordings. Texas 25 has eight of those reworked hits, every one now emphasizing the group's retro-soul leanings, plus four brand-new songs that suit this style. Occasionally, the group sounds a little bit older and wiser -- vocalist Sharleen Spiteri is slightly huskier than she was when the songs were first essayed -- which is an attitude that fits nicely with the stylish groove of Truth & Soul. It's a subtle difference -- there's not a world of difference between the original and remake of "Say What You Want" -- but it's enough to make Texas 25 seem like a celebration, and one that long-term fans will likely enjoy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine