On their umpteenth release, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama mix some modern blues and R&B into their core gospel sound. The rhythm section, led by the organ of the legendary Booker T. Jones, keeps the accompaniment simple as the group soars through some traditional material ("Closer Walk with Thee," "Every Time I Feel the Spirit, "), a few originals by lead vocalist Clarence Fountain, and a transcendent version of Bob Dylan's "I Believe in You."
U.S. marketers have been looking for a crossover blockbuster to match Britain's parade of chart-topping teens, and they may just have found one in this quintet of well-scrubbed Utah siblings (three girls, two boys) who won separate scholarships to the Juilliard School in New York. No Boundaries is their second album, and it closely follows the pattern of their highly successful debut, minus the inclusion of a video disc. The best news is that the playing here is musically solid and the repertoire even a bit challenging – there are no five-piano arrangements of "My Heart Will Go On," but there is Lutoslawski (the Variations on a Theme of Paganini) and Ginastera (the Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2, with Ryan Brown making you believe that more than one piano is sounding).