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CD REVIEW

Amos Lee: Mission Bell

by Jewly Hight on January 24, 2011

Blue Note

An understated thread of urban sophistication ran through Amos Lee’s third album, 2008’s Last Days at the Lodge. That’s not the case on his follow-up album, Mission Bell. Producer Joey Burns and his sun-dazed band Calexico have transported the soul-folk singer/songwriter to a more arid and country-tinged musical geography. Though he hails from Philadelphia, Lee is truly at home in the desert. Lee’s voice has always been his greatest asset and he sounds like a grounded Al Green against the elegant rumba of “Hello Again” and the Staples Singers-sounding “Jesus.” And that’s another new thing for Lee – gospel material. The style suits him, though it’s a little odd to hear his penitent lyrics paired with an easygoing country-gospel shuffle during “Cup of Sorrow.” Even the songs for past and present lovers sound like dispatches of a man on a pilgrimage.

Authors: Jewly Hight
Artist: Amos Lee
Tags: amos lee
Album: Mission Bell

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