Houston had left us under the best impressions with their debut albums as they didn’t hesitate to pay tribute to the 80s melodic rock sound while –from my perspective, at least- they were balancing in between East Coast AOR and the soundtrack style of such movies/series as “Cobra”, “Miami Vice”, “Teen Wolf”, “Over The Top”, “Karate Kid” etc. In a phrase, Houston didn’t want to reinvent the musical wheel…on the contrary, they were only interested in the melody as it was perfectly expressed in the unforgettable 80s.
The sophomore effort revolves around the same musical style and I must say that it doesn’t show any differentiation to its predecessor. If I had to push myself and underline a distinguishable point this time, I’d say that the band slightly inclines this time towards the AOR genre than the soundtrack atmosphere. Having said that, the “surprise element” is now absent as we are fully aware as to what to expect from Houston. From this point of view, I think that “II” is a bit inferior to the debut. I am not saying that it’s a bad or even mediocre album…not at all! I am just pointing out that the expectations are naturally high thus we can be really critical.
Nevertheless, all the fans of the good AOR sound will embrace Houston’s melodic approach once again and they will have every right to do so.
Highlight: I’d prefer a more inspired cover sleeve…