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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Selah's Sturdy and Scenic "Road", August 28, 2006
This review is from: Bless The Broken Road (Accompaniment Track) (Audio CD)
Prime Cuts: Bless the Broken Road (with Melodie Crittenden), I Will Sing of My Redeemer (with Barlowgirl), Gentle Healer (with Amy Perry)

Lead singers who define their group's personas place the entire ensemble in a lucrative position when they decide to depart. This was the predicament Selah faced when Nicol Sponberg had had decided to leave the trio. However, that is only half the group's vexation: country artist Melodie Crittenden who was supposed to be Sponberg's successor left late last year. In a move, albeit a wise one, to divert the attention away from the group's nonplused identity this duets CD was birth. With a heightened spotlight on the duet partners including luminaries such as Jason and Adam of the Crabb Family, Barlowgirl, Nicole Nordeman, Christy Nockels of Watermark, Kim Hill, Plumb among others, this allows Selah to buy time in order to re-construct their identity. This time instead of putting all of one's eggs in a basket, the group members as well as new member Amy Perry share around the microphone.

Musically, "Bless the Broken Road" is still consummate Selah. Their signature palette of hymn-like ballads with a contemporary edge still abound. Unlike many of their peers, these songs are spiritually meaty entrenched with deep theologically truth without resigning to those repetitive nondescript love songs to Jesus. Most spiritually penetrating is "Gentle Healer." The breathtakingly simple melody of this Michael Card ballad basks a carefully nuanced narrative that attests even handedly to the humanity and divinity of Christ. Not a group known to obviate the tough issues, Julie Miller's "All My Tears" (also covered by Jars of Clay) deal unapologetically with the issue of death. Kim Hill's Appalachian-sounding vocals add an added haunting element to this Americana-tingled ballad. Plumb, who has been known for her electronic-rock mores, offers her vocals and her pen to a surprising low-keyed Christmasy ballad "Mary Sweet Mary." While Barlowgirl add their reverential harmonies to the hymn-like newly composed "I Will Sing of My Redeemer." Also destined to be a Selah classic is the David Grow composed ballad "Be Thou Near to Me," a soft prayer that calls to mind the hymn "Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior" is a track the trio first recorded with Jim Brickman a year or so ago for his "Grace" CD.

When addressing the issue of human relationships "Bless the Broken Road" (a track first recorded by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and turned into a monster hit by Rascal Flatts) is a breadth of fresh air. While many today rushed into relationships that are not God-ordained and mature, "Bless the Broken Road" tells about the advantage of waiting for the right one. Made even more poignant is Melodie Crittenden's first hand experience of having to live out this song. On this ballad heavy album, "Follow Jesus (Landa Yesu)" with its upbeat Congo-inspired beat is quite welcoming. Inspired by the missionary work in Africa, augmented with some chants in African, "Follow Jesus" is delightful and Nicole C. Mullen sounds equally at home with her vivacious vocal support. However, not everything works: "Ain't No Grave," a Russ Taff classic has been reprised here. Jason and Adam of the Crabb Family together with Todd Smith just do not have the soul to undertake this bluesy Gospel tune. They do not have the grit and gravitas to let this tune soar. Christy Nockels of Watermark though is in fine vocal form, but her duet here "Faithful One" which clocks over 5 minutes is plain dull.

Nevertheless, as far as duet albums go, "Bless the Broken Road" paves a path that is sturdy and made sonically scenic via the duet partners. As with all Selah's albums, their tight harmonies lacing their signature hymn-like theologically informed ballads are in galore here. Most encouraging is that Todd Smith who takes up the lion share of the lead vocals sound more confident and his ability to engage with the various duet partners is accommodating. Here's looking forward to the reformed Selah on an outing of their own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 2, 2014
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Love this album!
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5.0 out of 5 stars harmony is awesome, May 18, 2014
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CD was awesome! The options for the different ranges were great and the harmony was great too. You could easily learn it and do 3 - part harmony
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, May 8, 2014
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This review is from: Bless The Broken Road (Accompaniment Track) (Audio CD)
Loved it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music and harmonies melt together., May 5, 2014
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Will give this as a gift anytime. I have a some favorite songs and have nearly cut grooves in the CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful music, April 18, 2013
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I am a long time fan of Selah... and this cd is a good example of why. well done with excellent harmonies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Music by "Selah", December 18, 2014
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BigJimMcD (Brighton, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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We really enjoy the beautiful music by "Selah" and recommend "Bless The Broken Road" by Selah to our friends and family.
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