By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer
Amos Lee’s new CD “Mission Bell” opens with a track called “El Camino” but unlike the song’s namesake, there is virtually nothing tacky about this album.
Lee has been around since 2005, and it’s likely you’ve heard a few of the former school teacher’s songs. “Colors” has been featured on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House” while “Seen it all Before” was featured on “ER” and “Keep it Loose Keep it Tight” was featured on a wide variety of shows.
Lee produces music that’s almost impossible not to love. There’s something blues-y and airy about his music, but there’s also a strength and power in his voice.
It’s been almost three years since his last album, “Last Days at the Lodge,” and many of his fans have been clamoring for his next work. He more than makes up for his time away with this album.
It’s hard to determine the best tracks of the album because they can all stand on their own as wonderful pieces of work. “Violin,” the third song on the album, perfectly shows off Lee’s beautiful, blues-y voice, while “Out in the Cold,” is a haunting song that showcases his writing ability. It’s an addictive song, mostly because of lyrics like “You can’t walk straight with a bullet in your chest.” It starts off slow, and then builds into a slow, melodic chant: “It takes a lot of loving comin’ out of the cold.”
“Jesus” quickly became my favorite on the album. It sounds like something off of the “True Blood” soundtrack, what with its distinct down-and-dirty, toe-tapping, southern sound. “Hello Again” is another great addition. It sounds like something that could have come out of Havana in the 50s, with its moody “hunter becomes the hunted” lyrics and atmospheric sound. “You used to be so beautiful but you lost it somewhere along the way,” he challenges the girl he once loved.
There’s always been something powerful about Amos Lee. Maybe it’s the fact that he doesn’t really have to try. The talent just oozes out of him. “Mission Bell” proves that he has the ability to stick around for a long time and consistently turn in challenging, beautiful and classic works.