Dave Plaehn - Amos Got Soul

It's a little difficult to get a definitive read on Dave Plaehn's music, which is always a positive critical attribute. On the one hand, his Amos Got Soul album can be raw, acoustic blues, as in "Stranger Blues," yet pop-reggae, as exemplified by "Doodle Li," which is colored with organ, horns and background vocals.

Plaehn is also tough to peg as a vocalist. There are moments when Todd Rundgren's 70s soul comes immediately to mind, such as with this album's title cut, which is quite keyboard-y and singer/songwriter-y. However, the more gospel-oriented "Pray, Jesus" finds Plaehn sounding a bit like James Taylor, in all his 70s singer/songwriter glory.

Lyrically, Plaehn rarely gets too heavy. Although he sings with great, tangible sincerity, the harmonica-spiced, and just slightly country "The Woman I Left Behind" is pretty much your typical, 'the one that got away' song. Plaehn is at his most serious during "Hold My Tears," a song that has a kind of African chant thing running through it and although it also goes into a kind of progressive rock section is pretty much a straight forward, raw emotional song about romantic separation.

With "Harp Stomp II," Plaehn does away completely with lyrics, for a harmonica-led instrumental. And it does just what its title suggests stomps.

The overriding impression is that Dave Plaehn is a gentle soul, and Amos God Soul has the ability to leave the listener with a peaceful sense of well being. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Dave Plaehn - Amos Got Soul

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