Amos Lee's seventh studio album, 2018's Tony Berg-produced My New Moon, is a ruminative if still uplifting album, characterized by emotive melodies and an earthy soulfulness. The album, which comes roughly two years after the singer/songwriter's '70s soul-influenced Spirit, was purportedly born out of a dark period of self-reflection in which Lee reexamined his motivations for writing music. During the recording process he was also shaken by the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, an event that informs the record's leadoff single, "No More Darkness, No More Light." However, rather than focusing solely on the bleakness of this cultural moment, Lee has attempted to find something inspiring for his listeners, crafting songs that work to raise hopes for both the present and the future. Which isn't to say there aren't dark moments here; tracks like the folky "Crooked," in which he sees an off-kilter world reflected in his own crooked smile, and the funky, '80s-era Bob Dylan-influenced "Don't Give a Damn Anymore," are searing, bitter-tasting indictments of his own personal failings. On the latter track, he sings "You ask me, who I think I am/You ask me, as if I give a damn/I've been wrong so many times, I don't give a damn anymore." However, rather than giving in to these more cynical inclinations, he finds the suggestion of a silver lining, as on the sultry, slow-burn soul anthem "All You Got Is a Song," in which he croons "I'm gonna sing away the pain, somewhere over the rainbow/I'm gonna sing away the pain, and pray that all your pain goes." It's a spine-tinglingly romantic song, but one in which the romance grows out of pain and personal struggle, and feels all the more cathartic and real because of it.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar