Monday, February 21, 2011
MAN ON A MISSION
Taking inspiration from soul greats, Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, and folk legends, John Prine and Dave Van Ronk, Philadelphia native Amos Lee directs his music with a spirit and presence rooted in American tradition. Amos delivers a unique brand of folk-soul music that aims to unite, uplift, and inspire. If it were still the seventies, the genre would be called "singer-songwriter" and Lee would fit in nicely with early Jackson Browne.
Mission Bell, his fourth album for Blue Note Records, is Lee's richest and most fully formed album to date. Produced by Joey Burns of the acclaimed band Calexico, the record displays both range and cohesion, an array of emotions unified by Lee's intimate arrangements and distinctive vocals. With a remarkable set of guests (Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Priscilla Ahn) and the musical backing of Calexico, the album marks the arrival of Amos Lee as a mature artist who continues to explore his musical and thematic interests. Amos' soulful voice expresses the love, loss and hope that are the central themes of the songs, and Burns' production is excellent, combining elements of folk, soul, blues and rock into a rich, flavorful blend that makes for a highly recommended listen.
Packaging note-Does the record industry have to buy into the "green" mindset in such a big way? This is a double-fold gatefold package, with the CD opening into the seam, sized so small that I practically had to rip the cover to get the CD out. Why do you make a cover that's temporary to hold a CD that will last forever?
And don't forget the SUPER 8 DEBUT ALBUMS Blog Hop coming next Monday (have you signed up yet?)