Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mykul Lee has recently released his third full-length album, Fortress. The disc is somewhat of a folk rock love letter that tells a story. Whether it was written for the object of Lee’s desire or for anyone in need of a good love song, it’s as sappy as you can get. If you take the heartfelt lyrics minus the angst and the subdued feel of Death Cab For Cutie, you get Mykul Lee. Everything on the disc was soft around the edges, though it was still packed with well-executed instruments with no hiccups along the way. Lee’s vocal range was nonexistent while he stayed in a breathy whisper throughout. While the “breathy whisper” is Lee’s style to melt girl’s hearts with his romantic lyrics, it did not do him any justice. With the lack of a range in his vocals, it somewhat caused each track to flatline. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for his voice to reach some sort of pinnacle, though Lee failed to deliver it.
Fortress opens up with “Crazy Like Me” that features guest musician Sergio Flores on flute. With a fluttering melody, the flute lightly graced the track in an innocent, whimsical way. Almost halfway through the album, I got nervous because “Fatal Attraction” stayed with the same dull pace and whispering from Lee. Thankfully, Flores was featured on this track on saxophone, which somewhat spiced it up.
There were times I was not sure if I was listening to a new song, because the disc ended up congealing together because of the similar sounds. Part of me really wanted to like Lee’s work because he is a lyrical aficionado, and I commend him on his excellent writing. If you paired his writing with an excellent vocalist boasting an endless range, Fortress would not have plateaued as much as it did.