Texas took a bit of time to deliver the follow-up to Hush -- an indication that the group was either aware that some fans didn't feel the record was up to snuff, or an indication that the group wasn't quite sure where to go next, a theory bolstered by the appearance of a greatest-hits album -- a traditional measure for a band biding their time. When they finally did release their sixth album, Careful What You Wish For, in the fall of 2003, times had changed: they were no longer a shoo-in for the top of the U.K. charts, nor did they have a U.S. contract. Faced with this situation, the group crafted a very safe, very mature, very British set of soulful adult pop. There are the usual concessions to hipness -- a few of the beats gleam with modernity, there is the de rigueur cameo from rappers -- but this is solidly a smooth, soulful collection of well-crafted pop that intentionally plays it safe. It's not quite as lush as Hush, which highlighted Sharleen Spiteri's sexiness, nor is it the crackerjack, stylish, modern, blue-eyed soul of White on Blonde, which remains their highwater mark. Instead, it's a straight-ahead album that plays to their strengths without exploiting them. In other words, while this is certainly enjoyable as it spins, it doesn't provide many memorable moments. Since the band consciously tried to construct an album that evokes their best work, that's not an entirely surprising result -- they're so intent on delivering a specific sound, they've neglected to spend as much time on the songs -- and it's not a bad result, either, at least on the surface. But once you dig beneath the surface, there's not as much to offer as on White on Blonde, and, for that matter, the surface doesn't glisten as seductively as on Hush, either.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Kardinal Offishall