Amos Lee

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Dreamland Review

by Matt Collar

On his eighth album, 2022's hushed Dreamland, Amos Lee offers a soulful musical balm for a troubled world. It's a vibe he's grown increasingly reliable for, balancing his intimate acoustic balladry with moments of heartfelt country-tinged pop and soulfully hypnotic R&B anthems. Produced by Christian "Leggy" Langdon, Dreamland brings together all of these sounds, albeit in an even duskier and more low-key way than either 2016's Spirit or 2018's My New Moon. While that latter album found Lee explicitly grappling with his emotions in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Dreamland feels more generally introspective and less concretely focused on any one event or message. However, that doesn't mean it's any less heartfelt. There's a widescreen empathy to many of the songs as Lee crafts lyrical and cinematic moments that feel like he's wrapping his arms around the listener. Literally, on "Hold You" he sings, "See you in the doorway/There's tears on your face/Singing 'Stand By Me'/Wanna make you see/I can keep you safe." We also get the buoyantly romantic R&B groover "Shoulda Known Better," which works as an infectious amalgam of Lee's Prince and Bill Withers influences. There's also a vibrant midtempo number, "Worry No More," full of uplifting lyrics about letting go of your anxiety that nicely evokes Dangerous-era Michael Jackson. It feels intentional that much of Dreamland is relaxed in tone, pitched at the speed of early afternoon sun streaming through an open window.

blue highlight denotes track pick