Label: Lion Music 2012
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
There are certain bands that seem to have it all together and in theory they should be among my all-time faves, but something just doesn't click. House Of Shakira is one of those bands. They're a highly respected Swedish Melodic Rock band with a sound of their own and a bunch of praised albums under their belt, yet I'm somewhat indifferent towards them. I've quite enjoyed those albums in the past, but to be honest, I don't think I really remember any of their songs. That's not to say that they don't have any.
"HoS" marks a new chapter in the band's history, with the band revamping their line-up with three new members, vocalist Andreas Novak, bassist Basse Blyberg and drummer Martin Larsson. With such a major line-up change one would expect a major change in the sound as well, but no, "HoS" sounds very much like a House Of Shakira album. Guitarists Mats Hallstensson and Anders Lundström haven't tried to re-invent the band, merely update it. Novak has a different sound than his predecessor, but I think he fits really nicely into the band. As a result of all this, "HoS" might just be my favourite album of theirs, a thoroughly enjoyable effort.
Each one of the album's 13 songs gets a "thumbs up" from me, some more hesitantly than others though. Despite that, the album "only" gets an "8" because none of the songs really blew my mind. Even the best tracks like "Fractions Of Love" and "I'll Be Gone" are merely very, very good but not the kind of songs that would fight over the title of "Song Of The Year". But "all good" isn't bad at all.
If you've liked the previous House Of Shakira albums, I don't think that you'll be disappointed with this one. If you haven't heard any of their music but like hard rock along the lines of Van Halen (Hagar-era especially), Tyketto and the rockier side of Journey, I don't think that you'd be disappointed either if you were to purchase this album.