Don Lee: Signs and Other Symbols

~ Monday, 14 December 2009
This second album from the New Jersey singer songwriter wears its influences on its sleeve. From the first few chords of opener Locked Out there is no doubt that Squeeze, and Glenn Tilbrook in particular, have played a major part in Lee's musical upbringing.

The music is quirky with low budget production values which only adds to its likability as
he mounts a charm offensive with a clutch of infectiously catchy tunes that lodge themselves in your head and rattle around, resulting in random humming and foot tapping. Miracle is a fine example of his craft with its instantly singable chorus and chiming guitars. Lee obviously has a grasp of crafting a pop song, but he really is going to find it hard to shake off the Squeeze comparisons.

What Would It Take To Make You Stay? is probably his biggest departure from the sound that pervades the rest of the album, with his vocals sounding like a Jack Daniels drinking Paul McCartney
. Ok, it is pretty much a whole hearted rip off of Tilbrook's solo work, just listen to his Transatlantic Ping Pong or The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook albums and you will see what I mean, but Lee does have an undeniable likability about him and obviously has a passion for what he does that may just prove enough to make him his own man. I hope it does as this is a good album.

[][][][] (4/5)