AMOS LEE

As the Crow Flies

2012-02-25

This short set of six songs were recorded at the same time as Lee's highly regarded 2011 disc "Mission Bell," and Lee continues the soulful guitar-vocal-and-piano combination that made "Bell" ring, assisted by members of Calexico. Some refer to Lee as the "male Norah Jones" of Blue Note, in that his easy-going soul-tinged songs have a similarity that mimics Jones's piano melodies; there's some truth in that, I suppose, but Lee shows off plenty of talent in writing, singing and playing. No knock on that. Perhaps the knock is that sometimes the songs can feel slowed by emotive weight (#1, $4 and at times #6, perhaps). Try out cuts #2 and #3 and see what you think. Great voice--and if these are out-takes, he has a deep bench of songs. 02/12 Michael J. F-Soul

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