Let the record label be your guide: Though he’s both a singer and a songwriter and the majority of the tracks most prominently feature acoustic guitar, Supply and Demand, Amos Lee’s second LP for revered jazz giant Blue Note, is not a singer-songwriter album. Where Damien Rice or Bright Eyes work toward a propulsive emotional climax, Amos Lee establishes his slightly-hipper-than-Norah-Jones vibe at each song’s beginning and simply lets the track coast on its own quiet elegance.
There’s evenness to Supply and Demand that will stifle those waiting for some eventual catharsis, but that’s not the point here. Lee and his band are discerning musicians, and although “Night Train” and “Sweet Pea” don’t reach any momentous heights, the power is in the delicately harmonized vocals and complementary background guitar and brushed drums. The gospel edge to “Careless” and standout “Skipping Stones” highlight Lee’s subtly soulful voice-a little James Taylor, a lot Bill Withers-and give credence to the fact that with the most accomplished singers and performers, the joy isn’t in the lyrics but the voice telling the story.