Rolling Stone - p.743 stars out of 5
- "His mix of acoustic guitar and R&B-bred singing is more reminiscent of Bill Withers or Tracy Chapman."
Entertainment Weekly - No. 809, p.73
"[T]his Philly troubadour crafts concise, soulful songs with a warm palette of acoustic colors..." - Grade: B+
Uncut - p.973 stars out of 5
- "He's got a sly easy-on-the-ear voice that lies somewhere between Seal and James Taylor..."
Vibe - p.168
"[S]tout in musicianship yet delicate in tone."
Dirty Linen - p.61
"He utilizes his falsetto quivering voice in a very effective manner and will sometimes go into a scat style that has tinges of a jazz singer's delivery."
Personnel: Amos Lee (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Amos Lee; Adam Levy (guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Alexandra Leem, H.S. Alexandra Leem (viola); Norah Jones (piano, Wurlitzer piano, Wurlitzer organ, background vocals); Devin Greenwood (Wurlitzer piano, Hammond b-3 organ, Wurlitzer organ, background vocals); Lee Alexander (bass guitar, drums, drum); Chris Thomas , Jaron Olevsky (bass guitar); Fred Berman, James Gadson, Fred Berman (drums, background vocals); Zara Bode (background vocals); Kevin Breit (acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, mandolin); Nate Skiltes (mandolin); Larry Gold (cello); Dan Rieser (drums).
Audio Mixers: Danny Kopelson; Lee Alexander .
Recording information: The Magic Shop, New York, NY (07/2004).
Photographer: Denise Guerin.
There's no denying that Norah Jones's name is thrown around a lot regarding her labelmate Amos Lee's Blue Note debut. Lee gained renown through touring with her, and Jones and her band are heard lending a hand on the album. Other than a tendency to keep things on the quiet side, though, the comparisons pretty much stop there. Where Jones's piano-based music draws heavily from her love of jazz standards, Lee is another story altogether. His combination of low-key folk-rock and old-school R&B positions him as something of a Bill Withers for the 21st century. Indeed, his silky/soulful voice and emotive, acoustic-guitar-based songs reveal a strong Withers influence, something all too rare in contemporary pop music, R&B or otherwise. Tracks such as "Arms of a Woman" reveal Lee to be a dyed-in-the-wool romantic, but "Bottom of the Barrel" and others indicate his ability to step outside of love-song tropes for a well-rounded songwriting approach.