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4.5 out of 5 stars
16
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 October 2013
Despite still being on Blue Note records this album sees Amos and his band carrying on from where 'Mission Bell' left off, it was recorded in Nashville and has a definite country influence, with guests including Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin and Jerry Douglas. Amos's voice still has that bitter/sweet sound that is only enhanced by Krauss's harmonies on the excellent "Chill in the air" - which also features Douglas's dobro - and the songs are in the main the usual simple laid-back ballads which are also enhanced by producer Jay Joyce's subtle touches, while remaining quintessentially Amos Lee. There is variety here though, with more electric uptempo songs like "Tricksters, Hucksters and Scamps", "High water" and "The man who wants you" providing a contrast to the restrained ballads and reminding me a bit of Amos's fellow Philadelphian G. Love. There are also a few banjo based-songs which add a nice back-woodsy vibe. "Mountains of Sorrow" is another nice Dylan-like ballad, with harmonies from Patty Griffin and "Scared money" has wonderful atmospheric processed lead guitar. This is a very interesting, varied album with lots to take on board, it introduces new sounds for Amos but he manages to still keep his own distinctive sound.
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Amos Lee, I understand, was the opening act on one of Adele's UK tours a few years back, and that much of his growing UK following is probably derived from that. He's an understated, low-key singer-songwriter, who mines a musical seam that has distant echoes of JJ Cale, even some stuff reminiscent of solo mark Knopfler, and vocally reminds me very much of the very early recordings of Tom Waits (circa his first album, 'Closing Time'), before he developed the jazzier, gravel-voiced approach. Musically, there's a bit of folkiness there, too, and some Gospel flavoured harmony vocals in the mix, too, and he has been quietly building a substantial and rewarding body of work that is highly listenable, if deliberately un-flashy and thoughtful. 'Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song' is an album that gains hugely from several concerted listenings - it is not necessarily something that you can sort of dip into and out of. The tracks flow and contrast nicely, from the banjo-driven stomp of Tricksters, Hucksters and Scamps and the reflective 'Dresser Drawer'. It's an accomplished and very rewarding listen, and well worth your financial investment. It's not instant, but the best albums often aren't, either!
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on 8 January 2014
What can I say, this latest album from Amos Lee is brilliant. I thought his previous album Mission Bell was good, but I think this is better. It has a great blue grass feel, but I think his voice is still bluesy. His song writing is spot on. Well worth it, and you will end up playing it again and again. There is no dud track on the album.
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on 24 October 2013
Bought this album on Saturday following a recommendation from my local friendly vinyl record store(yes they still exist), by the second play I was sat on the edge of my seat, this guy's voice is pure silk, stand out tracks are Johnson Blvd, Chill in the Air, Dresser Drawer, the acoustic guitar playing is extraordinary, the production is second to none, a fantastic album, and easily one of my best buys this year!!
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on 10 January 2014
A grower, with in my opinion the better tracks being the 3 bonus ones. Not as instant as the sublime Mission Bell, but a must for any Amos Lee fan or indeed an music lover who is in need of perfectly constructed songs and THAT VOICE!
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on 29 December 2013
I have all his other albums, and have seen him in concert a few times, and will definitely go to see this in concert - a great album
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on 8 November 2013
No dissapointment with this cd, quick delivery. love this artist I found him by mistake but I am very glad I did FANTASTIC
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on 30 July 2014
His best album since Supply and Demand. Not a bad track on it!!
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on 26 January 2015
Not the usual X factor rubbish this man knows his stuff
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on 11 July 2016
After you listen several times its a real winner
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