Amos Lee: Last Days at the Lodge CD review (Blurt)

If Amos Lee’s 2005 debut was the cross-marketed phenom that introduced him to baristas and coffee moms across the country, and its 2006 follow-up proved that he actually could deliver the soul-flecked rootsy goods in a legitimate fashion, then Last Days at the Lodge is where he flexes both his creativity and his credibility. Producer Don Was brings his predictably solid skills to bear on Lee’s sound, amplifying both its most accessible (“Listen”) and heartfelt (“What’s Been Going On”) attributes. The rich production, along with musical assistance from all-stars like Doyle Bramhall, Jr. and Spooner Oldham, positions Last Days as a record that’s as ambitious as it is well-funded. Thankfully, Lee loses neither his voice nor his soul in the process. For such a young man, he evinces a surprisingly well-worn singing style that’s as evocative of ‘70s soul as it is singer-songwriter introspection. Wielding that voice in tandem with these beefy tunes results in an album that’s both warmer and stronger than a double latte.

Standout Tracks: “Jails and Bombs,” “Won’t Let Me Go”

First appeared June 2008 in Blurt.

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