Last Days at the Lodge
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Reviewed by Mike Farley
As with previous efforts, Amos Lee has lots of influences and flavors of music at work in his songwriting for Last Days at the Lodge. You’ve got the obvious, that he’s like a male version of Norah Jones, and that could be because of the Blue Note affiliation. But Lee, who hails from Philadelphia, also has that old school Philly R&B sound – think early Motown, or a soulful tenor that resembles the great Al Green.
Still, one of the things that make Amos Lee stand out is the fact that, while his style is consistent, his songs are pretty varied in substance. You’ve got ballsy rock tunes with soul such as “Listen,” and another funky uptempo track in “Street Corner Preacher.” Then there are the songs that sound like they came right out of ‘70s AM radio, such as “Won’t Let Me Go,” with its brilliant falsetto; “What’s Been Going On” and the Stylistics-ish “Jails and Bombs.” But by far the best track on this set is “Kid,” which not only has a brilliant melody and slick acoustic guitar picking, but the relevant message about how difficult it is growing up these days.
Lee recently enjoyed a huge wave of success when his song, “Sweet Pea,” was placed in a popular AT&T commercial, so the timing of this release can only help fuel that momentum. Of course, it helps when the guy continues to write solid material, and in this case Amos Lee accomplishes that and then some.