STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 50603-14793 LABEL: Brian Houston 823566053828 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-01-16 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
It's been interesting seeing Brian Houston's stock rise in recent years so that every new release sees him receiving more critical response and a bigger audience reaction. This project was originally going to be called 'A Man Like Me' after the song of the same name but finally saw the light of day as 'Three Feet From Gold' which is as enigmatic a title as you'll ever need. You get all the usual high quality features we're used to hearing on Houston albums! So you get classy songwriting, plaintive vocal performances and Houston's mix of country, rock and soul but this time out it feels a little more plugged in than usual with a mid '60es rockier vibe breaking through here and there. Dramatic songs of love, jealousy and passion break out and there are plenty of high spots from the urgent "Somebody's Daughter" to the downbeat "A Man Like Me" and the threatening brooding "The Fool" and the gospel chorus of "Sister Of Mine" adding a new vibe. As usual, the songwriting draws on the personal and confessional experiences of Houston's own life and the observations he makes of others. The results are compelling, passionate and always interesting. There are few writers so adept at writing the three minute pop song packed full of the good, bad and ugly of life.
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Brian has again produced an energetic and varied recording, and eclectic mix of vintage influences and pop sensibility and an impressively varied mix of classic songwriting.
Heart-felt lyrics are delivered with true feeling in thought-provoking well-written songs.
They include Queen of Hearts (which had BBC Radio 2 airplay) and the Gospel undertones of Sister Of Mine.
The re-working of crowd favourite Oranges was the first single.
There is a nod to ‘40s doowop legends The Ink Spots on A Man Like Me while Sister Of Mine features the gospel choir Sense Of Sound (as seen on TV’s Last Choir Standing).