Grant Lee Buffalo

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Jubilee Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

With the departure of bassist Paul Kimble, Grant Lee Buffalo became the sole province of singer/songwriter Grant Lee Phillips; he may still be supported by drummer Joey Peters, but now, more than ever, he is the main focal point. With Kimble left, some of the band's appealingly messy ambition has been reigned in, resulting in a brighter, sharper sound. And that means Jubilee, the group's fourth record, doesn't quite hit the heights of Fuzzy and Mighty Joe Moon, but it's arguably their most consistent effort yet, simply because it puts Phillips' songwriting on full display. He still has eclecticism in his blood -- there's everything from lumbering hard rock to sweet country tunes on the album -- but his skills have grown; he now has the ability to make it all sound like it was coming from the same source, instead of different planets. Consequently, Jubilee does sound joyous -- Grant Lee Buffalo fills the record with more genuine ambition and accomplishment than many of their peers have managed.

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