Album Review: Sam Lee & Friends – The Fade in Time

Sam Lee & FriendsSam Lee is a truly contemporary performer; a daring, passionate and unfearing artist who is pulling songs from the ages into the 21st Century in style. Taking ancient songs and reproducing them in his own unique and daring style has allowed him to partner up with his musical friends and create his second album The Fade in Time.

From the opening bars of Jonny O’ the Brine it is audibly clear that The Fade in Time is going to be a distinct, eclectic and even mysterious album. Lee takes age-old songs from the world over breathes new life into them with a wonderful fusion of experimental world folk music. His travels which have inspired these songs are clearly not in vain as his time has been spent mastering this careful and stunningly crafted composition. He has a keen ear that is able to assist him in creating amalgamations of genres that should naturally clash but instead mix together seamlessly. His works seem to combine something from all across the globe; everything can be heard from a European influence to Bollywood beats and operatic vocals.

Lee’s vocals are quite frankly perfectly suited for his inimitable blend of folk music. He sings with an earnest but gently charismatic voice that seems to swim with his music, flowing into each and every chord to compliment it perfectly. It’s got a perfect resonance to sing songs the like of Willie O where his voice seems rich and striking with a sense of gravitas within it.

One of the most intriguing things about The Fade in Time is that there seems to be a deep, rough beat throughout the album that ties it all together. Sometimes it’s readily apparent and sometimes it’s incredibly gentle but it’s always there, like listening to the heartbeat of the world. This in itself ties in masterfully with Lee’s exciting collection of world music. His songs are wonderful throughout but flicker between the more melancholic and the more upbeat and whimsical. This whimsy is generally carried by the music while the melancholy is carried by his vocals making them an inseparable duo. Songs such as Lord Gregory are simple, almost lullaby songs while songs such as Phoenix Island have a strangely pleasant almost freestyle sound to them.

The Fade in Time is a strange blend of album and time machine. It’s an album that has both the capacity and the tenacity to spirit you away throughout the world, bending both time and space to transcend you to a variety of times in a variety of lands. It’s a beautiful and charming collection of songs that need to be heard to be believed.

For more information on Sam Lee, check out his website here:


Joe Knipe

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