Andy says, "I wanted to show the songs in a different light, and show that they could work on whatever instrument, synthesizers, or guitars."
Union Street is a conceptual album that concept being to translate often overlooked and missed songs in the grand Erasure song catalog, and present them in a purely acoustic and traditional country and western way.
What remains is soft, incredible, and minimalist pure vox and emotion.
The first thing that strikes me as I listen is the melancholic and lilting quality of Andy's voice, backed by the long, sweeping, and plaintive steel guitar. It is utterly stunning. I am overcome with the feeling that this album, more than what has been recorded previously, is truly about allowing his voice and his gift to communicate the emotion behind each of these songs. This album was made for the Andy Bell purist, and I feel privileged to be listening to it. All great art is an offering. His voice is sublime.
The songs that have been chosen all capture, in one way, the solemnity of love that is so prominent in Erasure's music. Removing the heavily electronic influence, and replacing that with the simplicity and naked beauty of an acoustic accompaniment, every nuance of that emotion comes more clearly to the surface, and can be appreciated with an entirely new, and renewed understanding.
Some of my favorite moments listening to Union Street come from being given the opportunity to hear, again, some of their more obscure songs in this revealing, and honest format. The pairing with Jill Walsh on Tenderest Moments (a B-Side to Run with the Sun) is spectacular and cosmic; listening to Home, a favorite song of mine, and I am again swept up by the sheer exquisiteness of his voice, and the words he is singing.
The disc closes with Rock Me Gently a dramatic and appropriate ending for such an immaculately crafted, yet unpretentious and unassuming album.
Union Street is an exploration and revelation in the profundity of love. It is intimate, subtle, moving, and unreservedly outstanding.