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A New Voice August 20, 2008

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Dwight Furrow's Posts.

It is not often I am blown away by contemporary pop music. But Amos Lee has a gorgeous voice.


I suppose the genre is “coffeehouse soul”—mellow R and B deftly garnished with folk and country musical themes and thoughtful lyrics. The production values are superb and the band, a collection of Blue Note regulars, is pitch perfect. But it is the voice that captivates. It manages to be simultaneously silky and gritty—like a cross between Nat King Cole and Taj Mahal updated for a new century.


The newest album is Last Days at the Lodge, but the earlier efforts, Supply and Demand and Amos Lee, are perhaps a cut above.



1. Paul Moloney - August 21, 2008

I wonder, according to what theory in the philosophy of music would Dwight find this voice gorgeous?

2. Moriae - August 22, 2008

It’s the nature of modernity to be easily impressed.

3. Dwight Furrow - August 22, 2008


That would be the theory that holds that pleasure is an indicator (or perhaps a necessary though not sufficient condition) of aesthetic merit.

4. Paul Moloney - August 22, 2008


Even if it were the nature of modernity to be easily impressed, Dwight may have been around long enough not to be considered modern by some and, therefore, not easily impressed.

Kidding aside, Dwight, I had been thinking along the lines that you mention considering aesthetic pleasure.

5. Moriae - August 25, 2008

You’d have to seriously parse the meaning of ‘pleasure’ if you were to include Goya, Bartok, Pollock, Kathe Kollwitz, Eliot, and Van Gogh.

6. Dwight Furrow - August 25, 2008

Well Paul, I’ve been accused of being “postmodern” before, but never pre-modern. This is a first. But I do recall having lunch with Descartes. (Or did he say he was Jesus Christ? My memory is failing)


Serious parsing indeed. (although I find Bartok beautiful and Van Gough and Kollwitz penetrating even in their uglier moments). But I take it that was the point of Kant’s (and Burke’s) concept of the sublime–taking pleasure in the fearful or the awesome, but at a distance. I’m not sure that either has the right account of the sublime for our time and place but I do think we take pleasure in the ugly, disgusting, and disturbing when viewed from a safe distance.

7. Moriae - August 26, 2008

Hubble Telescope distance?

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