Mission Bell

Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Q Magazine
    Mar 1, 2011
    60
    A handsomely crafted affair of aching sincerity and a light pleasing soulful touch. What's missing are a couple of standout tracks to get the ball rolling. [Feb 2011, p.124]
  2. 60
    Mission Bell is hopefully a transition record for Lee, one that shows him at the crossroads of polished, packaged pop tunes and the grittier gut-wrenchers of artists like Nelson and Williams.
  3. Feb 7, 2011
    60
    Like his labelmate Norah Jones, Lee is a great foil, and the standouts on his chart-topping fourth album--cut with cowboy-mystic indie rockers Calexico providing moody backup--are the cameo tracks.
  4. Feb 2, 2011
    60
    There is a lot to admire here and maybe that's the main problem....he often favors rambling, low-key country numbers that get you to quietly consider the bittersweet nature of our existence rather than lose yourself in the song.
  5. Feb 2, 2011
    60
    "Violin," the lone track which seems to bare a hint of Calexico influence, is unsurprisingly the album's clear highlight: a swelling, sweeping slow-burner with wide-screen atmosphere, angelic harmonies and pedal steel aching over modest acoustic strums. More of this ilk and Mission Bell would have been a stunner.
  6. Feb 2, 2011
    60
    Mission Bell [is] a pleasant record, but Lee should be aiming for more than just "pleasant" by this point in his career.
  7. Feb 4, 2011
    50
    For now, Amos Lee seems like he's biding time, cashing in on a few well-known guest stars (also here: Priscilla Ahn, Pieta Brown, Sam Beam, and drummer James Gadson), and nursing along his case of deep mellow.
  8. Feb 2, 2011
    50
    Mission Bell isn't anywhere near a disaster, but it's also nowhere close to being a great album. Whatever it is Amos Lee went off in search of at the beginning of this album, he should have kept looking for it.
  9. Feb 11, 2011
    40
    While a couple of catchy turns of phrase compensate for some elementary rhymes, there aren't enough hooks to make the songs memorable.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 22, 2015
    10
    I fully agree with the other reviewer. While I have loved some older Lee songs, and not loved some, Mission Bell, with only 1 or 2I fully agree with the other reviewer. While I have loved some older Lee songs, and not loved some, Mission Bell, with only 1 or 2 exceptions, is a consistently well crafted album, displaying soulful songs, Lee's superb voice, and of course, Willie at the end, who adds to the excellence of this release. Full Review »
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    One of the best albums I've heard this year. Totally underrated. I don't understand why the critics don't rate this album higher, maybeOne of the best albums I've heard this year. Totally underrated. I don't understand why the critics don't rate this album higher, maybe because Amos has changed his sound? Don't know, but I sure like it. Take a listen today!!! Full Review »