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Supply and Demand
     

Supply and Demand

4.5 4
by Amos Lee
 
While Amos Lee doesn't exactly go out of his way to create a good-time vibe -- his music is thankfully free of "don't worry, be happy" clichés -- he does manage to generate a genuine warmth that permeates his sophomore outing, making it the sort of disc a listener can slip into much like a familiar old sweater. Not that Lee is simply retracing the steps he took on his

Overview

While Amos Lee doesn't exactly go out of his way to create a good-time vibe -- his music is thankfully free of "don't worry, be happy" clichés -- he does manage to generate a genuine warmth that permeates his sophomore outing, making it the sort of disc a listener can slip into much like a familiar old sweater. Not that Lee is simply retracing the steps he took on his acclaimed debut -- on "Shout Out Loud," for instance, he ramps up the production value, employing multi-tracked vocals and a quirkily angular organ sound. That instrument also helps propel "Skipping Stone," albeit in another direction -- one that owes far more to vintage Stax sessions than to indie rock. While Lee mixes things up admirably in terms of sound, in his writing he maintains an earthily direct approach -- all the better to focus on the burnished tone of his vocals. That straightforward manner makes "Careless" -- a disenchanted monologue directed at a former friend with a penchant for betrayal and unfaithfulness -- all the more wrenching. "Long Line of Pain," a traipse through the realm of Americana, carries traces of the Band in its DNA, which lends an undeniable grace to the rustic yet graceful melody. Lee's ability to connect with his roots without digging them up and waving them like flags marks him as an artist who's certain to be in demand for some time to come.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
On the title track to his sophomore effort, Supply and Demand, singer/songwriter Amos Lee sings, "Baby I need a plan to help me understand, that life ain't only supply and demand." If the supply and demand Lee is referring to is money, success, and power -- and it clearly is -- then the stuff he truly values here is the currency of freedom, love, and sympathy for your fellow man. It's just such yin-yang subject matter that has driven folksingers to set struggle to melody ever since Depression-era scufflers like Woody Guthrie pointed out how America was technically "made for you and me" and not just those in the nice suits. For the most part, Lee is on about the same stuff here, although his vantage point is the more stylish, if no less lonely, tour bus and not a dust bowler's flatbed truck. Nonetheless, Lee is a heartfelt songwriter with an R&B crooner's sense of romance and drama and a real knack for turning his own ennui into anthems for the average guy. He tackles wars of various stripes on "Freedom" and like John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change," the song finds Lee deftly threading the political needle with lines like "Don't want to blame the rich for what they got or point a finger at the poor for what they have not" and "Freedom is seldom found by beatin' someone to the ground." It's a catchy stump speech of a tune and, three songs in, lifts the album up from just pleasant into something truly welcome and unexpected. Similarly engaging is the sanguine, slow ballad "Careless," which mixes the Band's "The Night We Drove Old Dixie Down" and Crosby, Stills & Nash's "Helpless" into a gut-wrenching and artful self-indictment of infidelity. However, it's the low-key and darkly sweet "Night Train" that should remain as not just the album's best cut, but Lee's signature song. Hypnotically simple, the song hangs on the chorus with Lee's candid omission, "I've been workin' on a night train/Drinkin' coffee, takin' cocaine/I'm out here on my night train/Tryin' to get her safely home." It's a hushed, rhythmically propulsive song filled with dramatic tension that is beautifully colored by shimmers of organ and lush guitars. On an album all about what's been bought and sold, both personally and collectively, it shows how in tune Lee is with this land of ours and how good he is at selling his soul in the best possible way.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/03/2006
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0094635041620
catalogNumber:
50416
Rank:
15835

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amos Lee   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Drums,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Guitar (Tenor),Guitar (Baritone)
David Kalish   Dobro
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Barrie Maguire   Bass
Pete Thomas   Drums
Fred Berman   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Christopher Joyner   Organ,Piano,Wurlitzer
Lizz Wright   Background Vocals
Jaron Olevsky   Bass,Piano,Background Vocals
Priscilla Ahn   Background Vocals
John Austin Hughes   Ukulele
Nate Skiles   Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Barrie Maguire   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Jim Bottari   Engineer
Shane Smith   Engineer
Amos Lee   Composer
Bill Eib   Management
Levi Feeney   Management

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Supply and Demand 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Famous Amos you have done it yet again! These tunes are as moving as any others you have spit out! Bravo!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't wait for this release and now I play it night and day. I can't seem to get enough of these songs. I feel the pain in "Careless" and the intensity in "Night Train". They are my favorites, but the entire CD is incredible. Thank you Amos for writing such wonderful songs and for singing them so beautifully, and with such deep feeling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with "Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight" on the radio and ran out to buy the CD. When I heard Amos Lee on a local station supporting the upcoming album "Supply and Demand", I was thrilled (My copy of his debut album was being played to death). This is a another great release from Amos Lee. I love "Shout Out Loud" and "Freedom" as well as more soulful songs such as "The Wind" and "A Long Line of Pain". My only complaint is that this album, with the exception of songs like "Sympathize" and "A Long Line of Pain", are much less stripped than the songs on the previous album. The result is nice, but it lacks the soul/blues feel of the first album.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago