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House Of Shakira: Retoxed

House Of Shakira is another band, like Shylock, who has gone three years without a new work. Time, patience and hard work pays off because 'Retoxed' is a a better than average melodic hard rock album. Admittedly, I took more than a few spins to get my head around this album. Not that I didn't like the first time through; I did. However, the music threw me off at the beginning. It seemed really different. This possibly because the first time I listened to it through a pair of ear buds on a portable CD player, and the second time through a small boom box while I was making dinner. Both devices did not do this album justice. My recommendation: listen to this on a good stereo system and crank it up.

'Retoxed' starts off only a little abnormally with a ballad; it's short and very good. Then things kick into high gear with 'Small Town,' a solid rocker. This is followed by the two best cuts on the album, 'No Faith,' and the powerful 'Crazy But No Fool' which includes a fantastic chorus. 'Life & Death' is another strong rock number with some sweet guitar work. You can skip over 'Gabon Viper' (yawn!) and 'High Above' (step out for a coffee and you still won't miss anything). Things get rowdy and rock again on 'Red Alert' and 'Bloodline' which has a curious and captivating intro. 'Angel Dancer' was difficult to listen to and could have been easily dropped from the album. The final and longest cut, 'Turkish Nights,' displays HOS in the breadth and depth of their skills in song craftsmanhip, though at times the song plods along at a glacial pace. But hold on for the song finishes in a grand way.

'Retoxed' is a worthy effort from House Of Shakira. Fans will be quickly impressed. Others, like myself, will have to let the album grow on them. Listen carefully and there much to enjoy.
  - Craig Hartranft


In Short

House of Shakira returns after a three year studio absence with 'Retoxed,' a solid album of melodic hard rock. Though I did not find it thoroughly consistent throughout, there are some really great songs on this album including 'Crazy But No Fool' and 'No Faith.'

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