Mark Houston may have a future in music considering the fact that his album impressions was written and recorded while he was in high school. For being so young Houston impressed me quite often as he pulled off some ideas and concepts that you might expect from someone of a more advanced age.
Houston’s songs are very soothing and I wouldn’t call them strictly new age but lines of ambiguity certainly emerge. There are aspects of soft work but often mystical overtones which feel undeniable. I was most attracted to his vocal style. Houston has an exceptional delivery most of the time and sounds great whether he is sustaining a note or singing a slew of words.
He kicks off with an “Intro” which is enticing and short. His ethereal, reverb laced vocals immediately drew me in. The “Intro” transitions into “Pain” and this is where his soothing vocal really emerges. I enjoyed the instrumentation especially the lead guitar but the vocals are what really kept me engaged.
Up next is the very mystic sounding “Night.” The synth pads work with the celestial crystal sounds. If Houston had pushed the sound any more it would have come off as cheesy. Houston once again pulls off a great vocal performance. That being said I could have done without the filtered, hushed, whispered vocals that felt a bit melodramatic.
“Into The Sky” eclipses the seven-minute mark and felt like the centerpiece of the album. Houston’s vocals felt especially atmospheric on this track. “Out on the Water” is more nostalgic and melancholy than what came before. It was a welcome deviation even if it was subtle. As the album progressed there were a couple more highlights including “Drifting To Sleep” which was aptly titled and “Disappear” which fades into existence with whimsical and thematic sounding instrumentation.
Houston is doing his own thing and you have to respect that. He certainly can sing and has a sound he can call his own. I think his best work lies in the future but Houston is in a good place to get the ball rolling.
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