Blessed with a stylish production and sharp commercial songs, White on Blonde made Texas into superstars everywhere except America -- a situation familiar to many British acts of the '80s and '90s. Like most of their peers, Texas failed to deliver in the U.S. because of bungled promotion, since singles like "Black Eyed Boy" could have easily fit onto adult alternative radio. Texas must have been aware of this, since they switched labels in America, releasing White on Blonde's sequel The Hush near-simultaneously in the U.S. and the U.K. -- a sure sign that they were aiming for the big time. As it turns out, they pulled off a minor coup with The Hush -- they build on the strengths of White on Blonde, creating a sophisticated, sexy pop album that manages to balance commercial and creative concerns, with seemingly very little effort. It won't please longtime fans, who might be pining for a return to the rock of their early records, but the album's lush blend of melody, blue-eyed soul, dance and pop is undeniably alluring. Wisely, they take their cue from Sharleen Spiteri's hushed vocals, which are sultry but never histrionic. Some could argue that the entire affair is too self-consciously mature -- after all, the majority of the album is devoted to mid-tempo pop numbers, and even the up-tempo cuts never work up much of a sweat -- but the fact remains, few bands are capable of delivering a mainstream pop record as assured and listenable as this.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine