Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Record Review: Sean Lennon "Friendly Fire"

Here's a record that was well received by most reviewers, but I think it still didn't get the credit it truly deserved. A swell album full of immensely brilliant chord changes, track order, and open but
well penned lyrics. If it weren't for the heaviness of this boy's last name, I'm sure he would've garnered a lot more attention, or at least had the spotlight shining on him in a different way.

Sean Lennon, oh what a last name that is. A great deal of musical history in just two syllables and a handful of letters. Born to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the mop-topped brit with sharp eyes somehow beat the odds of artists-born-of-artists and wrote himself a lovely record. It's good enough that it makes up for the musical career of Julian Lennon. I'm not one to really dog people, but holy fuck, Too Late For Goodbyes? That song is the audible equivalent of being gang raped softly while having a what-you-hated-in-the-'80s enema. I realize it was during a time when a great deal of pop rock acts blew horse cock, but that takes the cake really.

Anyway, Sean's Friendly Fire is incredibly wonderful in my unhumble opinion. Let us tour the tracks for what they're worth.

"Dead Meat" A strange strange start, for the better though. An acoustic opener with perfectly placed strings, and lyrics that sound like they were written by a grade school bully with the voice of an angel. Wonderful coming from the soft spoken Lennon.

"Wait For Me" Fucking ace vocals on this track, and the lyrics are spot on John sounding. Nice little solo too.

"Parachute" Ah the start of three sublimely perfect badass sad songs. The switch off to the chorus is intense, with nice little guitar lines, 'la la' vocals. Great.

"Friendly Fire" A the mark of a great composition, fucking cool chord change when the chorus comes in, sort of weak for the title track, very sparse, but enjoyable overall.

"Spectacle" Okay, fuck this. This song is just oozing with that saccharine sweetness of a terrible love song, but it's pulled off so well. The kicker for me in this song is most definitely the 1) cellos and 2) the "oooh-eee" guitar bends that follow Lennon's voice during the chorus. Also, at the end, as the song starts its descent towards an outro, it hits this awesome minor descending riff, and he brings back the whole band to play around with it. Nicely done, the bastard.

"Tomorrow" Oh no. Alright, the only track that really doesn't stand out. Written almost too perfectly, y'know, like some bastard in a LA studio penned it for some pop idol to sing at the MTV music awards. But yeah, it's still well done, nice break from thinking too much over how well the last few songs were orchestrated.

"On Again, Off Again" Soft awkward paced acoustic guitar, a little piano tinkering. Not my favorite, but still has its nice moments. One of which is not when he rhymes "ocean" with "motion."

"Headlights" Trippy lyrics, but not in a groan sort of way. Great beefy acoustic guitar, nice harmonies. Oooh and contains the great remark of "life is only slowly dying" right before there's a little acoustic interlude with nice spacey noises in the background. And I'm curious as to how the hand-clapped rhythm was done, I seriously doubt they got a group to clap in perfect unison for nearly three minutes.

"Would I Be The One" Oh this is class. Weird little reverb synth with guitar flutters in the background (also appear in Dead Meat) Nice change up when it goes to the chorus. Goes absolutely fucking ballistic later out, a lot of solo-y things, space boops and beeps.

"Falling Out Of Love" Good choice for an ending track, a lot of building up slowing down all of that sort, starts off with some pretty blah chord-age but gets golden later.


Overall a stand out album that sort of slinked its way under the radar, and was given the open-mouthed yawn by a lot of people due to the name on its cover. Doesn't hurt that Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto fame plays on the album (they were lovers once [ain't it weird...you know...the whole...Lennon/Asian girlfriend thing...nevermind.])

Speaking of 'friendly fire' a room mate of my friend's was telling us of Andrew Jackson, the bonafied badass of presidential history, caused the most casualties to the American side during the Battle of New Orleans. The fucker sat atop horseback and shot any of his men that ran away from battle. Awesome. (please question my historical accuracy, I'm reciting a story I heard nearly a week ago in a bad state of mind)

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