Texas - Texas 25

Well, you can say what you want but it won’t change a thing - Texas are a band that helped to define, and are defined by, the 1990s. As they used to have to say about Blondie, 'Texas is a band', but frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri was one of the highest profile female performers back when lads and ladettes ruled the airwaves and filled the pages of the magazines. Bookended by outliers - 1989’s ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’ and 2013’s ‘The Conversation’ - the band's peak came during an incredibly productive period between 1997 and 2001. This latest compilation, handily titled Texas 25, is to celebrate - ah, you're already ahead of me - that quarter century career. And it’s a behemoth: 27 tracks on the deluxe edition, including the obligatory four new tracks and eight re-recorded with New York’s Truth & Soul that dial up the Northern Soul side of their work.

Though it’s tricky to pull off, re-recording your own material is in vogue; here though, the Scots have managed to avoid this felling like a cash grab. Well trodden paths like ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’, the still excellent ‘Halo’, and ‘Inner Smile’ are given a fresh lick of brass section and organ, though the reggae-fication of Summer Son’ is a bit UB40 and ‘Black Eyed Boy’ loses some of its thrill. Spiteri is still in fine voice, as recognisable as ever; in fact, you can compare against original versions on the second disc. Of the new tunes, ‘Start A Family’ is middling; they rip themselves off on ‘Say Goodbye’, which leaves the soulful bopper ‘Supafly Boy’ as the most likely playlist candidate. If you enjoyed the band's heyday you'll find something reassuringly new here - even more than two decades on.



out of 10

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