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Amos Lee

Amos Lee

4.8 10
by Amos Lee

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�My favorite time in music is probably 1970-75,� Amos Lee has said, a remark that points out his discerning taste rather than any retro instincts. For if this acclaimed singer-songwriter can bring to mind the folk- and blues-inspired artists of the early �70s, he�s also carved out his own identity, one that reflects his own time. What makes Lee special is his


�My favorite time in music is probably 1970-75,� Amos Lee has said, a remark that points out his discerning taste rather than any retro instincts. For if this acclaimed singer-songwriter can bring to mind the folk- and blues-inspired artists of the early �70s, he�s also carved out his own identity, one that reflects his own time. What makes Lee special is his amalgam of influences. His original songs pull together pungent strains of folk, rock, blues, and R&B to form a vibrant, soulful sound that has little to do with contemporary �mope folk.� A former schoolteacher, Lee projects a literate sensibility that mingles engagingly with his down-to-earth delivery; such tunes as �Arms of a Woman,� �Soul Suckers,� �Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight,� and �Bottom of the Barrel� speak with the eloquent directness that comes with an authentic songwriting vision. Lee�s exceptional voice and nimble guitar work bring immediate expressiveness to his work, an expressiveness that has already caught the ear of Norah Jones and Bob Dylan. Like Jones, Lee is poised for a breakthrough with his debut album.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
With a dusky soul voice and a knack for literate, thoughtful lyrics, singer/songwriter Amos Lee is a throwback to a more organic-sounding pop time period. Calling to mind a mix of Bill Withers, Arthur Lee, and James Taylor, Lee croons through his mellow eponymous debut with a singular sense of his time and place that adds weight to his already heartfelt songs. Much like Taylor's Sweet Baby James and Withers' Still Bill, Amos Lee is an album about an artist's life and loves in a world that often seems at odds with his desires. On "Arms of a Woman," Lee sings "I am at ease in the arms of a woman/Although now most of my days are spent alone/A thousand miles from the place I was born/But when she wakes she takes me back home." Similarly, the darkly evocative "Black River" has Lee in a gospel mood, drawing comparisons between a swift-moving river, God, and whiskey, while the brisk country-rock-inflected "Love in the Lies" finds him proclaiming that "The world ain't no harder than it's ever been/Lookin' for love in the lies of a lonely friend." For all intents and purposes with Lee, Blue Note has found the male Norah Jones. In fact, Jones guests here and, interestingly, on "Colors," Lee sings about getting "lost in the circus" -- one wonders if Blue Note hopes that Jones' "house of fun" is close by. Joining in are other members of the Blue Note extended family, including Jones' longtime bassist Lee Alexander, guitarist Kevin Breit, and others. The result is an album not dissimilar to Jones' multiple Grammy-winning Come Away With Me, as Wurlitzer and Hammond organs pipe softly next to acoustic guitars, allowing Lee to glide on top of a wave of tasteful coffeehouse soul. While the comparison is mostly positive, it does pose one rub in that even Come Away With Me, while unfailingly intimate and classy, was somewhat calculated to be beautifully crafted, deeply emotional wallpaper, and Amos Lee holds to that template. Which basically means that, despite Lee's stellar melodic abilities, the arrangements are often too low-key for their own good. That said, Lee has a phenomenal voice matched by a journeyman's sense of songcraft that is just too good to go unnoticed.
Entertainment Weekly - Raymond Fiore
This Philly troubadour crafts concise, soulful songs with a warm palette of acoustic colors. (B+)

Product Details

Release Date:
Blue Note Records

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amos Lee   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Chris Thomas   Bass,Bass Guitar
James Gadson   Drums,Background Vocals
Larry Gold   Cello
Dan Rieser   Drums
Kevin Breit   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Guitar (Resonator)
Fred Berman   Drums,Background Vocals
Devin Greenwood   Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Adam Levy   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Norah Jones   Piano,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer
Alexandra Leem   Viola
Jaron Olevsky   Bass,Bass Guitar
Nate Skiltes   Mandolin
Zara Bode   Background Vocals
H.S. Alexandra Leem   Viola
Lee Alexander   Bass,Drums,Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Larry Gold   String Arrangements
Danny Kopelson   Engineer
Barrie Maguire   Producer,Engineer
Billy Joe Walker   Engineer
Jerry Kramer   Management
Clay Patrick McBridge   Cover Photo
Jessica Novod Berenblat   Art Direction
Amos Lee   Composer
Bill Eib   Management
Matt Boynton   Engineer
Lee Alexander   Producer,Audio Production

Customer Reviews

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Amos Lee 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first heard of Amos Lee when I attended Norah Jones's Kansas City concert last autumn with my mother, and Amos Lee was her opening act. He completely shocked me with his stage presence and easygoing persona, as well as with his guitar skills. He performed "Arms of a Woman", "Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight", "Bottom of the Barrel", and "Black River", and left me impressed and wondering what else he'd written. After the concert, my mother and I saw a crowd as we were leaving, and realized that they were selling his CD, and he was signing them. I bought a CD and got to meet (and fervently compliment) him - and he was very eloquent and polite, if a little shy. Anyway, the CD I bought had only 7 songs on it, and, although good, was far too short. When I found out this new one was coming out, I ran out and bought it immediately, and I'm overjoyed I did, because it's now one of my favorite CDs. I hope Amos's career is succesful, as he is definetly one of the best new, but unsung artists we've got.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so excited I finally found this album! I heard Amos Lee open for Norah Jones and, as others expressed, was blown away by his talent. Just him, his guitar, and his charm on the stage. I had goosebumps when he sang. He's more than simple talent. He's soulful, honest and insightful. I haven't even litstened to the album yet, I'm ordering it today (they were sold out at the concert, and I finally hunted down his name!). I'm sure he'll become one of my favorites!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely wonderful! He incorporates different styles of songs which is great. His voice and lyrics are mellow and strong at the same time. I didn't take it out of my cd player for probably a month when I first got it- each time I listen I find something new, enlightening, or if anything, somehow centering about his music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why Amos Lee has not gotten the attention he deserves is beyond me...he can sing and write... one of the greatest young talents of America...give his CD a listen and you will be hooked... His voice is like a smokey afternoon , just as the sun is going down....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first heard and saw Amos on Austin City Limits. I was hooked after his second word! His voice is addicting and empowering. His words and his sultry voice speak to your soul. When he sings it feels like he is singing directly to you. Can't wait for his next album. Best CD I have in my collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After seeing him open for Norah Jones back in September I couldn't wait to hear his first full-length album. This guy is the real deal if you like jazz and just solid song writing. This is a first-class album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always considered myself a passionate critic and lover of music. I rarely ever find an album that has made me as emotional as Amos Lee's full lenght album. This album stripped of all the glitz and glamour of the usual industry technology is simply put, pure music. Amos Lee's raw talent, enables him to use his mezmorizing voice as the most prominant "instrument" on each track. I have an inordinante amount of CDs in my personal music library and after being gripped by the first few tracks on this album its easily the best CD I have ever bought.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this age of "formula, studio-mixed" music Amos Lee delivers real music to listeners--plain, simple, direct tunes--that are reminders of bygone days when singers were distinguished by their individual voices and by the types of songs they sang. I'm looking to hear more from Lee. Here's one new-found fan who hopes and prays that the "soul suckers" of the music industry don't catch Amos Lee, and that he continues to "keep it loose, keep it tight" on future releases.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago