Grant-Lee Phillips is a veritable one-man army, playing every instrument on Mobilize, which he also co-produced with Carmen Rizzo.

Grant-Lee Phillips is a veritable one-man army, playing every instrument on Mobilize, which he also co-produced with Carmen Rizzo. Two years since dissolving the critically lauded Grant Lee Buffalo, Phillips launches his solo career with an engaging, deeply passionate album. The set opens with "See America," a gentle ballad reminiscent of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," here with Bowie's tragic spaceman voyaging in a yellow New York taxi cab. Phillips constructs characters with humor and sensitivity, such as the exhausted journalist on "We All Get a Taste" and the criminal lovers of the majestic "Love's a Mystery." "Like a Lover" is a pained revelation of the vulnerability love brings, and the ache is soulfully crooned. Conversely, Phillips projects sheer joy on "Spring Release" and "Beautiful Dreamers." At the brink of a new stage in Phillips' career, Mobilize is a classic all his own.—SB

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