While Amos Lee managed to give the world one of 2011’s most notable releases—Mission Bell—he didn’t give us everything. The As the Crow Flies EP features six more cuts from the Mission Bell sessions and if nothing else, these tracks demonstrate just how fruitful and creative those sessions were because any of these songs could have justifiably landed on the original release. More of a companion piece than a separate album, fans who dug Lee’s Billboard Top 200-topping Bell will enjoy Crow because it plays to the same strengths.
Produced by Calexico frontman Joey Burns, most of the album’s tracks are delivered in a slower manner that is equal parts contemplative, moody and laid back, with few moments of grandiosity. Lee’s Eagle Eye Cherry-meets-Maxwell vocals shine, whether on mournful numbers like “The Darkness” or on one of the album’s love-overcomes-everything ballads like “Simple Things,” and he gives each song the right amount of soul without going overboard. Lee mines relationship experiences to give most of the songs their voices, but he also tosses out some nuggets for thought with lines like “we’re all strangers here” on “May I Remind You” and “don’t you know that we’re all immigrants?” on “There I Go Again.”
If Mission Bell left you wishing for even more of an already very good thing, then As the Crow Flies EP is the answer to that wish.