Sounds for an Old Soul

Gabe Close

For many people, the music they discover as teens stays with them throughout life, continuing to inform and reinforce their taste and musical decision-making. Though it’s hard to tell when Gabe Close grew up, the imprint of the heartland songwriters of the 1980s continually soaks the songs on the seriously titled Sounds for an Old Soul, recalling the earnest approaches of Bryan Adams or acoustic, sensitive Bon Jovi. Close seems disinterested in the evolution of singer-songwriters over the past 25 years, as songs like “Ain’t No Blues in Heaven” and “It’s Gonna Rain Tonight” merely bring to mind latter-day Henley or Seger. While Close’s instrumental skills on guitar are fine, and contributors such as vocalist Molly Greer and stringman Steve Cooley add lovely textures, this Old Soul could benefit from a less old-fashioned approach.