June 25, 2008

Album Review: Amos Lee

Amos Lee's back with his third album, Last Days at the Lodge, which seems to firmly cement his existence as a fantastic musician with Blue Note Records. As his last album, Supply and Demand changed things up from his folk/acoustic self titled start, this one once again changes a bit, with a different sound. I like change, and this year seems to be the year for it, with the big bands, such as Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay and a couple others releasing albums with a very different sound.

Last Days at the Lodge introduces some new sounds to Lee's repertoire. Listen is energetic. Won't Let Me Go sounds very R&B to me, with which he does wonders. Truth has a great country/folk feel to it, and Street Corner Preacher feels funky. Lee doesn't abandon his roots, however. Baby, I Want You feels a lot like Arms of a Woman, a little more refined, while What's Been Going On pulls the feel from Supply and Demand. There's new territory here as well - Jails and Bombs, Kid, and Listen have a sort of new sound that blends everything together nicely.

With the various styles that Lee has here, Last Days at the Lodge is charting somewhat unfamiliar territory - it's almost like he's trying to figure out which way to do, and with this varied and rich album, there's feelers out everywhere. This is the biggest strength of the album - we see an artist who is experimenting with his sound, who shows that he still has the same fantastic songwriting skills that we saw from him when he began, but also that he's creating a new and ever richer sound as time goes on.

Quite simply, this is one of the best albums of the year.

Ease Back - Amos Lee

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