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Album Review

The rules of pop only allow for big things, big sales, big records, big success. You can be indie rock, only sell a couple-thousand albums, and survive on your hardcore fan base, but how many bands that fall firmly into the category of pop can say they have a hardcore fan base? That's why it's always interesting when bands like Blessid Union of Souls go it on their own and come up with a better album than expected. Being too uncool for college radio and too "over" for mainstream radio is one of the hardest places to be for a band, but Blessid Union seem up to the challenge with frontman Eliot Sloan cranking out some quality songs, mostly written on his own for a change. While "I Still Believe in Love"'s opening couplet — "Ten years have passed and we're right where we were/Some things are better but so much is worse" — could apply to the state of the band, the song is actually one of those huge, life affirming ballads that incorporates strings. Hear it in the wrong mood and it seems like a shameless play for the big-time, but in the end, it's like everything else on the album, genuine and heartfelt. Tracks like "A Thousand and One" and "Reminds Me of You" are the kind of grand and positive message numbers the band does best, and hearing them on an indie-level budget just ups the ambitious quotient all the more. As a lyric writer, Sloan is getting sharper and sharper, which makes up for hookless tracks that appear every third or fourth number. Sixteen-songs long, the album could have trimmed the hookless numbers and made more of a case for the band that was once considered faceless Hootie-come-lately's. Now they're barely even considered, which is a shame since Perception is breezy, uplifting, and a testament to Sloan's sincere belief in positive pop.

Customer Reviews

I love these guys...

I was walking through a Best Buy in Sioux Falls, SD, trying to kill sometime and I was just browsing through the music and I noticed this bright, blue and purpleish cover. I looked closer and there it was...Blessid Union of Souls!! I had thought they were done making music and this was the best suprise I could have asked for. I first started listening to them back in 7th grade, I bought the CD "Walking Off the Buzz" because of the song "Hey Leonardo". From that point on, I fell in love! Their music is so deep and moving and they have a song for everymood which means you are ALWAYS in the mood for them. I love hearing people that sing with passion and if there was ever a group that did that...this is it. They performed at our county fair and I was singing out loud the whole concert and at one point, ever was moved to a tear. These guys are amazing and I just wish they got more recognition for their songs...they are so many hits that NEED to be heard. Thank you Blessid Union of Souls and PLEASE!! don't stop making music! You have inspired me to keep singing and ever write a few songs that kind of fit your style. So keep it going and I pray people hear more and more about you!

Another awesome album, yet clouded by obscurity...

When BUOS first hit the scene in the early to mid 90s, most people couldn't fit the band to the music. This was definitely not the band's fault, especially when each of the first three albums were released by three different labels that didn't give BUOS much of a chance. That seems to be the case here with the 4th as well, while it was anticipated by BUOS's most die hard of fans (including myself who paid the $22 pre-order on this in 2005) , it seemed to not get the publicity push it needed to make mainstream radio take notice. 'Could've Been With You', 'Closer', 'A Thousand And One', and 'Better Side of Me' are my favorites.

The best keeps getting better!

Could’ve Been With You” It’s one of the many songs BUOS have written over the years that deal with lost love, and what us guys do or don’t do that we should have, or shouldn’t have done in a relationship. I dig the "kick myself" line! “I Still Believe In Love” is a very powerful ballad, much like “I Believe.” I absolutely love the line, God is the one who has made us, and God if the one who can save us, but God is the one were afraid of...believing… Sloan sings part of the chorus in Falsetto, and he nails it! Sloan also has stated the this song almost wasn't gonna be on the record. I'm so glad he changed his mind. “Closer” is awesome! I love the way Eliot Sloan sings this one! “I Have Just Begun To Live” is what has to be a very personal song for Eliot Sloan, and I am so thrilled that he wrote it and recorded it for the album. Leaving the past in its rightful place, the song speaks about starting anew, with God in control. For the longest time, 1997’s “Hold Her Closer” was my favorite BUOS ballad. After 8 years, it has now fallen to “Let’s Get Out Of Here.” I myself have written many things, including poems about the PRECIOUS lives of the unborn. The song is written and sung from the unborn baby's point of view. And I think his/her point of view is what is often ignored. Beautiful song! As this CD continued to play, and I read along with the lyrics, then came “How Does It Feel Coming Down” and I was impressed yet again by the lyrics. The lifestyle desribed in “How Does It Feel Coming Down” is reality to many folks. I bet there will be plenty of folks after hearing this song who will think to themselves "that's me." I really dig “Say Hello To My Little Friend.” The song as told to me by Eliot Sloan, is about the band. It has a sorta bluesy sound to it. “Better Side Of Me” for me has moved up there with the likes of “Hold Her Closer, I Believe, and Lets Get Out Of Here.” Having been through many trials in my life, I know that at times people in my life didn’t always see the best side of me. Again, this is song that hits close to home for me, but BUOS have done that on every album. “Give Her What She Wants” is lyrically a song you don’t hear on the radio these days, which is one reason I feel it should be the type of song you hear on the radio! The message in this song is what every man who has a good woman needs to listen to and hear, and follow through with. For real. “Redemption” speaks a similar message as “I Have Just Begun To Live.” Although “I Was Never Here” is a ballad, its message reminds me of one of my favorites BUOS songs “If She Couldn’t Sleep.” Basically how bad it hurts to see someone we loved slip away, and it seems as if they have moved on, all the while we have a difficult time doing so ourselves. “Wild Side of Me, A Thousand and One, Bittersweet Sublime, Reminds Me of You and She’s The One” are all solid songs, and flow right along with BUOS style, which stands alone.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

With their optimistic, spiritual outlook and song-oriented mix of pop, R&B, and folk — dubbed "rural soul" by the band — Blessid Union of Souls quickly became one of the most popular bands in the post-Hootie & the Blowfish adult alternative radio format in the mid-'90s. Their...
Full Bio