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Close to the Edge 
Artist: Blessid Union of Souls 
Label: Torque Records
Length: 12/49:00 

Seeing this one brought back memories ­ Blessid Union is a Cincinnati based band that enjoyed a run of success in the adult alternative market in the mid to late '90's, yet never achieved the full drawing power of sound-a-like bands such as Hootie and the Blowfish, Better than Ezra, or Matchbox 20. Close to the Edge is a re-release of sorts ­ eight of the twelve songs are from _Perception_, an independently released album from early 2008. With a new record deal, and four new songs, BUOS is trying to recapture some of their earlier success.  With a spiritual bent to its lyrics, Close to the Edge is not much different from the band's earlier catalog.  In fact, in sounds like it could have been recorded in 1995. "Back from the Dead" is a slow builder, somehow managing to sound like Rich Mullins and toad the wet sprocket at the same time.  "Could Have Been With You" is a Matchbox 20/Third Eye Blind AAA rock song, and "I Still Believe in You" is in full anthem mode. "Healing" is the best song here, dealing with the soul issues as opposed to material needs.  "Closer" is another Matchbox/Oval Opus style number, and "She's The One" is the radio hit, if given the opportunity. Lyrically, the band is in great form.  "I Have Just Begun to Live" is about faith and looking ahead, without needing to fear the end. "Let's Get Out of Here" is a scene of a couple trying to find a way to repair damage done to their world.  Musically, the sound may need to be updated ­ I'm not sure if the band missed EEddie Hedges, but the difference was noticeable to this fan.

Brian A. Smith 
7 January 2009 


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