The lead-off track on Fortress is “Crazy Like Me,” a gentle song that Lee whisper-sings, as if his words are meant for his lover only. And while that song comes across as particularly intimate, it turns out that the gauzy understatement is not just a device for one song; it is Lee’s overall style. Taking these songs one at a time reveals that Lee does have something special going here; for example, the sax-enhanced “Fatal Attraction” in particular is nothing short of beautiful. But the album taken as a whole gets a little wearing; Lee’s breathy delivery just seems twee after awhile, to the point where you almost want to scream, “Just sing for Christ’s sake!” It definitely takes an acquired taste to enjoy Fortress all the way through.
Fortress is available now.