This brand new 18-track album from Lee Knox introduces a creative and passionate, soulful indie artist, with a fine ear for melody and a decidedly honest, free-flowing writing style.
Underneath this, nostalgic bass-lines and retro gospel backing vocals help really transport listeners to a simpler time. TheOnly1 is all of this and kicks things off in a blissful and aptly loving, appreciative manner.
Throughout this collection, Lee Knox makes fine use of long-form melodies to allow him to fully develop his ideas without pause. It’s a lyrically dense project, bringing in a soulful RnB aspect that meanders around listeners in a free-style fashion; and Knox more than delivers with his clearly capable, breathy and seductive voice.
Often the structure of these songs is notably unexpected. Genre-wise there’s a fair level of eclecticism anyway – Sleep kicks in with a hint of wah-wah funk and a faster pace – but each song seems to progress in its own way, occasionally throwing in an unpredictable middle-8 that feels like a whole new song or performance.
Contrast is really well utilized, with piano-led ballads like Today standing out for their quiet contemplation and intimacy. Then we get a dash of acoustic guitar finger-picking, introducing a world-music flavor that’s later followed by a burst of hip hop that again helps things leans in the direction of versatility (Yesterday).
This freely creative manner of composing continues throughout, with sci-fi-like electronica driving us through Ineffable, and jazz-kissed piano and synths calming things down for Atmosphere. Always this nineties vibe seems to linger in the air, the vocal effect even having a distant, nostalgic finish to it. At the same time, the instrumental choices and Knox’ own lyricism maintain relevance to this project – a contemporary air of story-telling and gratitude, a declaration of love and precisely what the album title promises.
Given the extensive nature of the playlist, you can pick and choose where you start things up, and the vibe is similar yet creatively fresh in subtle ways. Only is a personal favorite for its organic color and bounce, the smooth rise of the melody. Afterwards, I Was Here offers up a surprising late-night hit of energy and weight.
Other highlights during the latter half include the delicacy and longing of Gotta Find A Way – a big-band jazz vibe and a simple yet strong melody. To Me For Me also brings back multiple vocals to soothe the soul in a gospel choir-like, Boys II Men-esque style (Leave later follows a similarly wholesome pathway). Then there’s the explosive brightness and bounce of Faking, which works brilliantly where it is within the collection.
Lee Knox pours his heart and soul into this project, and his vocals prove faultless throughout – always emotionally in tune with the subject matter, always full of genuine passion and appreciation. Fans of classic RnB and nineties Pop will feel right at home here, as will modern music fans looking for something a little more live-band driven.