Dave Stewart co wrote, played guitars and produced Put Your Arms Around Me on Texas's White On Blond album
"I've spent this summer blasting Kardinal's 'Belly Dancer', Sean Paul and the Clappas rhythm, Glass Candy and The Rogers Sisters, plus those lovely Donna Summer-esque Ewen Pearson remixes and, of course, that great Beyonce single... I live in a world where all these sounds and songs live happily together. That's the sort of world we made this album for. The music world is dead? No way. C'mon, open your ears..."
Sharleen Spiteri August 1, 2003
TEXAS. CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
Sharleen Spiteri and her band, Texas, are back. Back with an album chock-full of gorgeous hooks and future radio anthems, an album made in a dream pop universe with key recording studios in London, Liverpool, Toronto, New York and, crucially, Glasgow. Texas have made a record that could only have emerged in 2003. It's called 'Careful What You Wish For'.
Many months in the making, 'Careful What You Wish For' is Texas' most diverse and ambitious album to date. It is the record that was brewing while their 'Greatest Hits' collection cruised to five million worldwide sales, while a hot, new guitarist was broken into the band and quickly taught the difference between the mighty machine sounds of Lenky and Just Blaze... and it was made while modern pop icon Sharleen Spiteri just tried to keep her head down and do some fun living as Britain went paparazzi snap crazy around her.
It's a hell of a story.
And it's all on this new record. Somewhere.
Featuring collaborations with underground West London dancehall crew Suncycle, uber pop producer Trevor Horn, Liverpool studio legend Kingbird, cult drum and bass obsessive Ceri '$unship' Evans, the songwriter's songwriter Guy Chambers and the renowned 'Madonna mixer' Spike Stent, this Texas record was always going to be a vivid and varied affair. But when the hot-as-a-pistol ragga rap MC, Kardinal Offishall, was enlisted to sing alongside Sharleen on the album's first single 'Carnival Girl', the colourful picture was complete. Goodbye myriad recording studios, hello Top Of The Pops, hello CD:UK, hello a Jonas Akerlund video featuring both the inimitable Kardinal and Sharleen on a skateboard.
"Kardinal came in and shaped it with us," reveals Sharleen. "He was like, 'let's make it a story every homegirl everywhere can relate to'. He didn't just bang out some quick rap in a spare hour. I was thrilled, because I'm really into his music, and what he's just done with Pharrell and The Neptunes on 'Belly Dancer' is as good as it gets right now. I love the way those guys are fusing rap with rock with reggae in a new way. And there's a real respect for songwriting there too."
While arguments began to rage about which tracks should be selected as the key singles off Texas' new album, Sharleen claims she was single-minded that 'Carnival Girl' would be the best way to kick off the new start for her band. "I hope there's a few hit songs on this album, of course," she says. "I have lots of favourites: I think we've written our best ballad yet, some really, really good guitar tunes and then some more dance-orientated stuff that should sound great on the radio. But for me 'Carnival Girl' was the perfect summer single to start things off for us again. It's got energy and joy and it doesn't sound like any other British band out there. People have said in the past how Texas have been influenced by people like The Fugees or TLC or whoever, and that's something I'm proud of. We're a pop/rock group, but we're very ambitious and we've never wanted to make carbon copy music or be part of any little 'scene'..."
Ivor Novello Award winners for what the revered songwriting academy deemed "a stunning body of work", the Sharleen Spiteri/Johnny McElhone writing partnership has in many ways been characterised by a combination of classic hooks with ambitious stylistic productions - whether it be the sweaty Northern Soul velocity of 'Black Eyed Boy' or the moody Ry Cooderesque stylings of 'I Don't Want A Lover'. In a rare 'I