Amos Lee (photo by Michael Lavine, PR)
John Varvatos Records/Republic
Amos Lee’s music is like a favorite blanket or a comfortable, warming fire on a winter’s night. His songs are brimming with passion, soul, emotion, and honesty. Each note and every word has a purpose and always achieves a goal. His talent has rarely missed its mark, and it’s never more apparent than on his new album, Spirit.
Lee released his self-titled EP in 2004 and his self-titled debut album followed a year later. He's a respected singer and songwriter, beloved for his inviting, soulful voice and his knack for penning memorable melodies.
Spirit, Lee's sixth studio album, arrives nearly three years after his last studio album, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, and 2015's live collaboration Live At Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony. This new collection of songs evokes a '70s feel, and that is very apparent on the synthesizer-laced “Lost Child" which recalls a vintage Stevie Wonder vibe.
“Wait Up For Me" is a rootsy folk song, carried by accordion and mandolin; it gives Spirit a stylistic balance. “Vaporize” is sultry R&B and provides a stellar showcase for Lee’s singular singing prowess. The album’s title track is a sunny, gospel-tinged song as is “Running Out Of Time,” an upbeat anthem complete with shouts of “Lord have mercy!”
The exquisite “Till You Come Back Through" is a highlight of the album; a heartfelt gem that reinforces Lee’s place among legendary veterans like James Taylor and Bill Withers. The emotional “New Love” is a sultry and passionate love ballad, punctuated by horns. The punchy use of strings adds melodrama to “Hurt Me.”
As the album's producer, Lee does not attempt to reinvent himself on Spirit. Instead, he's released an album that holds its own against his many past accomplishments. Amos Lee's Spirit deserves a place next to the seminal works of great folk, rock, and soul singers of years gone by.