Dogged by health issues for the majority of her life, Trace Balin hasn’t let that detract from what is a pretty cool album. Not as pomp as ‘Champions’, OOTB features a healthy stock of blues pop/rock material.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Trace Balin
ALBUM: Out Of The Blue
SERIAL: 701 4214 578/DAYCD4214
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Trace Balin – vocals
Lineup to follow..
TRACK LISTING: 01 Stranger * 02 Changes * 03 My Heart Is Set On You * 04 Answer To Prayer * 05 This Is Where * 06 Out Of The Blue * 07 The Love We Know * 08 Meet You In The Garden * 09 Walk It Out * 10 You Were My Last Hope
WEBLINKS: Site Link
A couple of years back, I became a big fan of Georgia USA native Trace Balin. This Christian artist with the killer voice made a big impression on her 1988 debut album (reviewed here) ‘Champions’. Since that album, Trace went on to release ‘Here And Now’ in 1989 and this one ‘Out Of The Blue’, all released on the CCM specialist label Word/Dayspring.
Dogged by health issues for the majority of her life, Trace Balin hasn’t let that detract from what is a pretty cool album. Not as pomp as ‘Champions’, OOTB features a healthy stock of blues pop/rock material. This sits comfortably alongside Mary-Lu Zahalan and Joanna Dean, though most Christian fans would probably line this up against the likes of Ashley Cleveland and Margaret Becker.
The album has been strung together across five different production sessions, and despite this situation, the album still sounds remarkably cohesive as a result.
The album kicks off with ‘Stranger’ with its big production values and Dan Huff approved melodic structures. Not a lot of blues to be found, just good clearly defined CCM oriented AOR. ‘Changes’ is the second track in, and an apt title as the blues licks are apparent from the intro licks. Nashville meets Memphis, so clearly Tennessee wins out.
The first highlight comes early with the simply beautiful ‘My Heart Is Set On You’, and though the song is clearly aimed at the Lord, one could also aim it at their dearly beloved with similar feelings. Lovely song nonetheless. The piano ballad ‘Answer To Prayer’ is a soulful declaration, and even if you step beyond the lyrical content, the song itself can melt you in a heartbeat.
‘This Is Where’ doesn’t up the ante in terms of tempo, a laid back CCM affair that could have turned up on any number of such albums back in the 80’s. The sax solo is kinda nice too. The title track ‘Out Of The Blue’ could be Alannah Myles revisited. It has inklings of ‘Black Velvet’ wrapped around it, while the following track ‘The Love We Know’ aims squarely at the popular and commercial Amy Grant market.
Rockin’ out with a bit more bite is the AOR oriented ‘Meet You In The Garden’, with its massive chorus, melodic hooks and fantastic guitar work. This track is a winner for sure. ‘Walk It Out’ is a funky but bluesy track, well conditioned to the CCM market, and to finish up, the ballad ‘You Were My Last Hope’ completes the album with a lush piano/synth backdrop accompanied with some sweet sax work.
Despite having a relatively small but vibrant fan-base (count me in), Trace went on to release one more solo album ‘Glory Road’ released in Europe during 1995. As mentioned in our review of ‘Champions’, Trace works in real estate and as part of a comedic trio called Adams Rib. I am in the process of grabbing all her albums on CD, as I feel her music deserves justice, even if it is only in my household, but I’m sure many others will follow suit.
Trace Balin on Video
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