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Close To The Edge

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Album Review

Although it is billed as a new Blessid Union of Souls album, 2008's Close to the Edge repeats eight of its 12 tracks from the group's previous release, 2005's Perception, representing half of that disc's contents. The new songs are leadoff track "Back from the Dead," "I'll Be There," "If You Were Mine," and "Healing." Old song or new, however, the group, led by singer Eliot Sloan, takes a consistent approach. The music is sweetly melodic pop/rock with strings often making things even sweeter. The choruses are never far away and are repeated frequently. This is all the better to support Sloan's achingly sincere grainy tenor, which he uses either to express spiritually inclined self-determination or romantic sentiments, with equal fervor. "Back from the Dead" is a restatement of purpose in which the singer commits himself anew to his ideals, apparently after some bad behavior. "Healing" contains another "that was then, this is now" message, this time overtly religious, as it concerns praying. When it comes to romance (and it frequently does), Sloan is an ardent lover. If he hasn't gotten the girl yet, he wants her ("If You Were Mine"); if he has her, he pledges devotion ("A Thousand and One," "I'll Be There," "Closer"). If, God knows why, she should want to leave, he tries to dissuade her ("Let's Get Out of Here"). If, despite this, she leaves anyway, he misses her and wants her back ("Could've Been with You"). All of this must be hard to resist for the band's fans (especially the female ones), so maybe they won't mind buying an album with only four new songs.


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 1995 debut album, Home, was a huge success, producing a Top Ten hit in the single "I Believe." Blessid Union of Souls were founded in Cincinnati by vocalist/songwriter Eliot Sloan and guitarist/songwriter Jeff Pence in 1990;...
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Close To The Edge, Blessid Union of Souls
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