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Amos Lee

222 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 1, 2005
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Product Description

The amazing debut album from a phenomenally talented singer, songwriter & guitarist. Throughout the 3 months on the road supporting Norah Jones he sold over 18,000 of his own self-recorded EP and had to restrict sales every night due to constantly running out of stock! Blue Note. 2005

Though Amos Lee's music is frequently described as a fusion of folk and soul, such an equation fails to reflect the singular artistry of this impressive debut. Like labelmate Norah Jones (who guests on two cuts), the Philadelphia singer-songwriter recognizes the power of simplicity, distilling an emotional essence that cuts across categories. The opening of his "Seen It All Before" echoes Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"; the stunning "Arms of a Woman" channels Otis Redding's "I've Got Dreams to Remember"; "Give It Up" cuts a classic Bill Withers groove; "Black River" has the sound of an age-old spiritual; and the closing "All My Friends" follows Van Morrison into the mystic. Throughout the song cycle, the bare-bones arrangements behind Lee's vocal flutter reinforce an organic unity that transcends genre. For all of the debts he owes to the music of the 1960s and '70s, the results sound timeless rather than retro. In his cautionary "Soul Suckers," Lee sings that "nothing is more powerful than beauty in a wicked world"--and proceeds to prove it. --Don McLeese

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight 3:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Seen It All Before 4:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Arms Of A Woman 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Give It Up 2:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Dreamin' 2:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Soul Suckers 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Colors 2:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Bottom Of The Barrel 2:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Black River 3:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Lies Of A Lonely Friend 3:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. All My Friends 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00070G6Y2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,664 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 191 people found the following review helpful By Christopher B. Prentiss on March 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Most people can remember hearing Norah Jones' Come Away With Me for the first time. It was so fresh and so different from all the other noise filling the airways. Amos Lee's debut is like that. Upon listening to it straight through, you wonder why there is not more music like this and wonder what it will be like to hear him 25 years from now and remember your first listen.

I don't want to be overly reductionistic here, but the Norah Jones connection is certainly worth making, if only because all the NJ fans who read this review might snap up this record too. This cd does indeed have a certain "male Norah Jones" feel to it; and her distinctive up-octave piano playing can even be heard on two of the tracks. However, it should be made clear that Amos is talented enough in his own right to deserve a better classification than this. Nonetheless, if you don't get this impression I would be surprised.

There is not really a weak track on the cd; each is a distinct effort. But the overall work hangs together with a low-key excellence, which partnered with astute production and mixing generates that characteristic Blue Note sound that plays just as well in the background as it does for the savvy audiophile whose "tuned in" to every musical element. The instrumentation never overwhelms his vocals, and his vocals are never out in front so much that the cello, mandolin, and piano feel "filtered."

While I have certainly not exhausted the praise due to the musical crafstmanship of the album, I was also quite impressed with the lyrical depth of a songwriter so young.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By N. Gargano VINE VOICE on March 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have not been this excited about a new artist in so long...maybe norah jones, but maybe not....Mr. Lee has released a wonderful debut cd. I read a review of the cd and thought I would give it a glad I did. I cannot stop listening to it. I tried to explain his sound to someone, kind of Bob Dylan, kind of soul, a little country,a little folk, I'm not sure. He is very unique. And what a wonderful songwriter, I don't know his age, he looks young on the cd, which makes this all the more impressive. I expect to hear more great things from him, I look forward to it.

Buy this cd, you will not be disappointed.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By J. Chasin on June 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You really do sort of want to hate Amos Lee. First, his album peers up at you from under the register of nearly every Starbucks in America; that's him right next to Antigone Rising and the four dollar gum. Then there's the Norah Jones connection; he opened for her, and they're both on Blue Note (which should generally a plus). And she plays on two songs here. And also, he's wearing a hat on the cover, and he sports a healthy dose of stubble. So yeah, the record has that "faux hip" aura all around it that generally makes me want to run for cover.

But the kid has the songs, and that makes up for a lot. The sound byte is, part James Taylor, part Donnie Hathoway; a hybrid of the seventies genres of folk rock and soul. I'm hearing an organic music; his core touring band is a quartet, with himself on guitar and vocals, plus another guitar, bass, and drums. The instrumentation on the album is similarly sparse, although many songs feature a keyboard part prominently. The songs have an easy, first-take quality that probably took endless takes to get exactly right. This is gentle music, both soulful and economical-- which is to say, nothing extra, nothing wasted.

Several songs feature the propulsion of David Greenwood's Wurlitzer or Hammond B3 to good advantage, although sadly he isn't listed on Lee's website as part of the touring band. The songs have beginnings and endings (as opposed to fades), and the album clocks in at a proper 35 minutes. I'm a big fan of albums that know when they're done; many of the classic records of my formative years had 18-minute sides, and better a tight piece of work that leaves you longing for more than an hour-long debut that has you looking at your watch after the 14th song.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on May 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
A singer, songwriter and guitarist with great soul and depth, Amos Lee proves on his recently-released self-titled album that a prestigious career is in his stars. With a rich, emotive voice, he sings and plays with a conviction that is missing from the majority of today's popular music.

Although the schmaltzy lead single "Arms of a Woman" has been earning him great favor among female listeners, he clearly has more up his sleeve than romantic fluff. The opening "Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight," for example, finds Lee reflecting on the good and bad of his life so far, keeping in mind that his future is vast and looming.

In "Soul Suckers," the Philadelphia native observes that "nothing is more powerful than beauty in a wicked world," later living up to his words in "Seen It All Before" where he brushes off a girl who simply isn't worth his time, opting for self-respect instead of manipulation.

The crystalline "Love In the Lies" is an upbeat affair where Lee soaks up the revelation that "it's time to make a brand new start," while the somber "Colors," cloaked in a profoundly gorgeous melody, features vocal harmonies by Norah Jones, who is a featured player on several tracks on the disc along with her bandmates Lee Alexander and Adam Levy.

"Black River" is a cathartic track where the singer/songwriter rests assured that his savior will ease his burdens and be his guiding light. The disc ends on a similarly optimistic note with the captivating "All My Friends" where he states he will always have his arms open for those he holds dear, since life has its share of ups and downs.
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