CD Review of Last Days at the Lodge by Amos Lee
Recommended if you like
Al Green, Norah Jones, Marc Broussard
Blue Note
Amos Lee:
Last Days at the Lodge

Reviewed by Mike Farley


f you’re a fan of Amos Lee, you like good songs that are delivered with a pop/R&B/blues/jazz feel, and/or you just like the guy’s smooth vocal delivery. With his third album for Blue Note, Last Days at the Lodge, Lee has once again delivered a gem that stands up to his previous two efforts. At this point, it’s probably safe to say that Amos Lee isn’t capable of putting out anything that isn’t very good.

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.

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