And So It Goes

by: Blake

The classically trained quartet of boys known as Blake released their second album in the autumn of 2008 and found the market virtually unchanged since their debut the previous year. And So It Goes performed almost identically in the charts as the album Blake, peaking at number 14 without the need for a hit single but featuring a second set of classical-pop crossover songs. Opening with the light orchestral track "Look to the Mountains" (which just hinted at the beautiful harmonies the boys can perform, almost in the background as an afterthought) and closing with Sancta Maria from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana, And So It Goes was, like Blake before it, a mixture of traditional classical arias and classic MOR pop songs, although this time around relying considerably more on the latter category. The pop-oriented titles included covers of Snow Patrol's mega-airplay hit "Chasing Cars," Katie Melua's "Closest Thing to Crazy," and Joe Cocker's "Up Where We Belong," which was the only film-related title in the set, a genre that had been more prevalent on their debut. This pop category also included versions of "Time to Say Goodbye," originally by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, and the title track written by Billy Joel and originally appearing on his Storm Front album in 1989. All of these tracks were sung in perfect harmony but almost too perfectly, thereby lacking any sense of drama that had been present with the originals. Blake had already recorded the song "Hallelujah," originally by Leonard Cohen, on their debut album. Had they not done so, it would have fit easily on And So It Goes and the timing may have improved the album's performance, too, the song holding down both the number one and two positions on the singles chart at Christmas 2008, courtesy of Alexandra Burke and Jeff Buckley. A third harmonic and relaxing version by Blake could potentially have been a big hit as well. Soon after the release of And So It Goes, founding member Dominic Tighe announced he was leaving the band to return to his acting career. Stephen Bowman, Jules Knight, and Oliver Baines, the remaining members of Blake, advertised on both Facebook and Twitter for a replacement and recruited Humphrey "Barney" Berney in time for their first live gigs early in 2009. ~ Sharon Mawer

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