Horace Pinker’s fourth full-length album, Texas One Ten, falls somewhere in between a yawn and a toe-tap – it teeters between upbeat, original songs and typical, “no-surprise” ones. The CD begins with a hard-hitting, one minute and 11 second-long song, “PoliSci 101.” The raw vocals scream out the politically charged lyrics “I’m not afraid in this police state.” But then the intensity fades away in track two, “Morning Sunshine,” which is a poppy love song. How did we get from “the rule is freedom in this marketplace” to “time to wake up to sunshine” and “all I have of you are precious little dreams?”
It is hard to get into the music on this album. Songs like “More at Home” (which has a sweet little video on the album), “Texas One Ten” and “Retrospective” are uninteresting. There is nothing in them to grab the attention or to make you want to listen. However, little glimmers of hope such as track eight, “Scene One, Take One” and track 11, “Resonate So Real,” pull you right back in with things such as the switching off of two different singers and the addition of a megaphone to amplify the vocal emotion. The album ends as it begins – strong. But it is the songs without originality or variation that lessen its potential.