GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS Mobilize (2001 UK issue 12-track CD album including See America Humankind Loves A Mystery and the Bonus Recordings
Hugos Theme & Sunday Best picture sleeve with liner notes & lyrics COOKCD232)
is Grant-Lee Phillips' first solo outing following the demise of his nearly eponymous band Grant Lee Buffalo
, with whom he made four tremendous albums. It is the safest possible assumption that the only thing fans of Grant Lee Buffalo--and fans of intelligent, passionate and unashamedly epic rock & roll in general--will want from Phillips' solo career is that it sounds as much like Grant Lee Buffalo as possible. The news is all good: despite the impression created by the cover portrait, in which Phillips appears dressed as Napoleon, he has by no means parted company with the plot, his marbles or the recollection of what he was good at. Mobilise
is a Grant Lee Buffalo album in all but name.
Opening track, "See America", sounds almost like a calculated reassurance: a road-movie lyric reminiscent of Grant Lee Buffalo's "Jupiter & Teardrop", and the same Phillips falsetto deployed to such memorable effect on "Mockingbirds". The rest of the album finds Phillips on peak form, especially the ferocious Waterboys-ish title track and the lovely nostalgic reverie "Beautiful Dreamers". It's like he never went away, but his return is nonetheless welcome for that. --Andrew Mueller